Evaluation of an anti-stigma campaign related to common mental disorders in rural India: a mixed methods approach

P. K. Maulik*, S. Devarapalli, S. Kallakuri, A. Tewari, S. Chilappagari, M. Koschorke, G. Thornicroft

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Stigma related to mental health is a major barrier to help-seeking resulting in a large treatment gap in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This study assessed changes in knowledge, attitude and behaviour, and stigma related to help-seeking among participants exposed to an anti-stigma campaign. Method: The campaign, using multi-media interventions, was part of the SMART Mental Health Project, conducted for 3 months, across 42 villages in rural Andhra Pradesh, in South India. Mixed-methods evaluation was conducted in two villages using a pre-post design. Results: A total of 1576 and 2100 participants were interviewed, at pre- and post-intervention phases of the campaign. Knowledge was not increased. Attitudes and behaviours improved significantly (p <0.01). Stigma related to help-seeking reduced significantly (p <0.05). Social contact and drama were the most beneficial interventions identified during qualitative interviews. Conclusion: The results showed that the campaign was beneficial and led to improvement of attitude and behaviours related to mental health and reduction in stigma related to help-seeking. Social contact was the most effective intervention. The study had implications for future research in LMIC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Medicine
Early online date2 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Nov 2016


  • Common mental disorders
  • community-based
  • India
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • mental health awareness
  • stigma.

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