This project is based on collaboration between Penn School of Social Policy & Practice and the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong. Building on the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the fields of health communication, psychiatry, public health, and social work, the goal of the project is to design a family-based intervention to reduce the stigma of mental illness in rural China.
A one-day training program, designed to reduce the stigmatizing attitudes held by community health workers towards families affected by serious mental illness, was implemented in a rural county in Southwest China. The project team partnered with the local healthcare system and used the photo-elicitation interviewing (PEI) method to document the experiences of stigma and discrimination in persons diagnosed with schizophrenia and their family members. Case scenarios were then adapted from the PEI data as a core component of the training program.