Addressing the impacts of internalised stigma

King, Helena and Witney, Thomas (2021). Addressing the impacts of internalised stigma. In: Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference, 1-2 Dec 2021, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.


This lighting talk reported on an ongoing knowledge exchange project, working with HIV+ people to explore and transform internalised health stigma. Whilst the physical aspects of HIV are now highly controllable, enduring stigma means positive people continue to experience substantial social challenges. These affect mental health through the internalisation of negative messages which damage the self-concept. Our project is delivering a series of structured, therapeutically informed sessions at quarterly 'retreats' run by a small, national HIV charity. The talk will report on details of the approach being taken, interim findings on the manifestation of internalised stigma, and the phenomenon of ‘post-traumatic growth’.

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