Stigma, discrimination and prejudices are closely linked to mental diseases and very specially to schizophrenia. The World Psychiatric Association is launching a very ambitious programme to try to fight this negative attitude and its consequences in discrimination at different levels and environments (legal, social, home, workplace). In the case of schizophrenia, fighting stigma should be done not only because of humanitarian reasons but because it has a negative impact on the course of the disease.
Fighting stigma cannot be done in abstract but should be based on very specific strategies adapted to local situations.
J.J. Lopez-Ibor, Jr.
President-Elect of the World Psychiatric Association,
Professor and Chairman of the Psychiatric Department,
San Carlos University Hospital,
Complutense University, Madrid
Community-based preventive psychiatry
Problems and potential
Scientific and clinical evidence has shown that prevention in psychiatry is possible and effective in several psychopathological and psychosocial conditions, known to be preventable at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Prevention at each level of the vast majority of these conditions depends on community-based multidimensional activities, aiming at a reduction in the burdens due to mental disorders and avoidance of iatrogenic damage, e.g unnecessary hospital admissions. In this report several paradigms of community-based preventive activities are discussed. Finally, the report emphasizes the main problems at local and central levels and the limitations in the implementation of preventive mental health programs.
University of Athens, School of Health Sciences,
Faculty of Nursing, Laboratory of Psychopathology,
Social Psychiatry Unit, Athens