Does Stigma Towards Mental Illness Affect Initial Perceptions of Peer Providers?

Does Stigma Towards Mental Illness Affect Initial Perceptions of Peer Providers? Peers (i.e. people with lived experience of mental illness and/or addictions) are being hired in large numbers to offer support for people with serious mental illnesses, but little is known about how peer providers are viewed. The goal of this study was to measure reactions towards actors posed as peer providers. Half of study participants interacted with an actor portraying a psychiatrist and half interacted with an actor portraying a peer provider. Ratings such as liking, feeling comfortable, as well as time spent talking were measured. Participants did not report preferring actors in either condition and did not talk more or have less silence with actors in either condition. Participants also were equally willing to see actors portraying peer providers again in the future and recommend them to a family member. Among participants who had received mental health services, there was a trend towards viewing actors portraying peer providers as more friendly and effective. These positive initial perceptions suggest that stigma towards people with mental illness does not taint the initial perception of peer providers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals

Does Stigma Towards Mental Illness Affect Initial Perceptions of Peer Providers?

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Public Health; Sociology, general
ISSN
0033-2720
eISSN
1573-6709
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11126-015-9378-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Peers (i.e. people with lived experience of mental illness and/or addictions) are being hired in large numbers to offer support for people with serious mental illnesses, but little is known about how peer providers are viewed. The goal of this study was to measure reactions towards actors posed as peer providers. Half of study participants interacted with an actor portraying a psychiatrist and half interacted with an actor portraying a peer provider. Ratings such as liking, feeling comfortable, as well as time spent talking were measured. Participants did not report preferring actors in either condition and did not talk more or have less silence with actors in either condition. Participants also were equally willing to see actors portraying peer providers again in the future and recommend them to a family member. Among participants who had received mental health services, there was a trend towards viewing actors portraying peer providers as more friendly and effective. These positive initial perceptions suggest that stigma towards people with mental illness does not taint the initial perception of peer providers.

Journal

Psychiatric QuarterlySpringer Journals

Published: Jun 27, 2015

References

  • Peer support among adults with serious mental illness: A report from the field
    Davidson, L; Chinman, M; Sells, D

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