Mental Health Promotion - how can it be improved to reduce social stigma?

2 March, 2022

Dear Neil/Members,

Those of you who work in mental health may like to read this piece by Nilanjan Bhor, a Well Being Volunteer at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences in Bengaluru (India):

(I came across this via a newsletter from the Social Innovation in Health Initiative).

I copy a few extracts here:

"Promotional initiatives at the community and organizational level have high potential to address societal stigma which is hindering both the seeking of early professional help and care, and prevention of mental illnesses and reduction of suicide."

"Given the low utilization of public mental health services due to the associated stigma, there is an urgent need for outreach or mobile health services to improve the seeking of mental healthcare, its access and service delivery, especially to disadvantaged communities."

"There is an urgent need for promoting mental health to remove the stigma from our society and improve early help-and care-seeking to prevent and reduce the burden of mental disorders. As there is little to no evidence on what works in a particular setting, interventions need to be tested to understand their impact and sustainability."

What are your views?

Perhaps members would like to share what they or their organisation(s) are doing to tackle the stigma associated with mental health? Is there anything to learn from how stigma relating to other health issues has been addressed over the years?

Best wishes


Dr Julie N Reza

HIFA profile: Julie N Reza is a UK-based specialist in communications for biosciences, global health & international development ( She predominantly works with NGOs and not-for-profit organisations. Previously she was the senior science editor at TDR, based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; prior to this she worked at the Wellcome Trust, UK, leading educational projects on international health topics including trypanosomiasis and trachoma. She has a PhD in immunology and a specialist degree in science communication. She also has several years research and postgraduate teaching experience. She is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and HIFA Social Media Working Group.

Email: naimareza AT