Mainstreaming of programmes to tackle stigma

By mainstreaming we mean that tackling stigma will ideally be a theme that runs through the whole of comprehensive CAMHS. All those who contribute to the commissioning and delivery of children’s mental health services might consider the need to be informed and committed to sustainable improvements to minimise the stigma associated with children and young people’s mental health problems and needs. This should be underpinned by the broader CAMHS strategy.

The integration of tackling stigma programmes, stigma awareness and education about children’s mental health is the business of all commissioners and service providers across the spectrum of services and works most effectively when it is integral to each individual professional’s value base.




Methods for successfully mainstreaming programmes to tackle stigma

Mainstreaming approaches to tackle stigma involve embedding the framework and associated actions as a philosophy that underpins all structures and related actions and ensuring that they are continually considered in planning and developments.

At a service level, mainstreaming action to tackle stigma is about a multi-faceted process of ensuring that children and their families are instrumental in the tackling stigma process.

Obtaining the commitment of professionals and changing policies, procedures, strategies and action plans so that they are congruent with the Tackling Stigma Framework is also very important.

Similarly, at partnership level it is about the active involvement of children, young people and families, as well as embedding activity to tackle stigma within strategic documents and getting formal support from relevant local strategic partnerships.



Case study: 2008-11 Plymouth Children and Young People’s Plan

In preparation for the 2008-11 Plymouth Children and Young People’s Plan, a number of consultation events were held to determine what children and young people, parents/carers and professionals believed needed to happen in order to improve children’s and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. A number of significant themes arose; amongst them a clear message that Plymouth had to tackle the stigma of mental health problems. In response to this a tackling stigma project was devised and set out in the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Commissioning Framework Action Plan 2008-09. The project is being delivered as part of the Plymouth Children and Young People Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Strategy 2009-14.

In July 2008, a number of senior strategic and operational leads from across the city came together to hear about the project and listen to a short film by children and young people that outlined the message. There is now a firm commitment to the project from those leads, both to resources and the collaboration of staff within agencies across Plymouth.

Learn more from the Plymouth pilot site





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