Several studies show that stigma usually arises from lack of awareness, lack of education, lack of perception, and the nature and complications of the mental illness. The people who experience stigma may be verbally abused and receive negative self-perception from those around the victims. Gender, family relationships, social and economic factors emerged as important drivers of stigma, the different forms of Stigmatization include: (a) Physical deformities, which includes conditions of extreme of height and weight such as albinism and missing limbs.
(b).Weaknesses or defects of individual character. These may include persons with criminal record, addiction, divorce, treatment for mental illness, unemployment, suicide attempts, etc. Tribal stigma, this type of stigma refers to a person’s membership in a race, ethnic group, religion, gender that is thought to disqualify all members of the group
Hope Worldwide International Uganda carries out Interventions such as counselling of people living with HIV, education of health workers and the community which leads to reduction in negative self-perception and verbal abuse and in turn improve the quality of life of people who are stigmatized in Uganda.
We also provide peer support to improve the confidence of the members, which ultimately reduce self-stigma and improve people’s ability to deal with external stigma when it is encountered, skills-building activities and other hands-on learning strategies that counter negative attitudes, counselling approaches, media approach which is information-based through brochures, radio talk shows, and through testimonials and interaction with the general public. Media platforms often portray those with mental illness as violent, incompetent and disdainful.
Hope Worldwide International Uganda will involve the media in educating the people about stigma, in order to change people’s perceptions about the mentally ill, people with defects etc through radio talk shows, print brochures and leaf lets, community mobilization, and creating activities (Income generating) that empower the affected people.
For Hope worldwide International Uganda to effectively manage this, we have to partner with other development agencies to enable us cover many parts of the country. Therefore we call upon our dear core funders and donors, non-governmental organizations and all other partners to join hands with Hope Worldwide International Uganda to fight stigma in Uganda.