The Experience of Stigma by Family Members of Individuals who have Mental Illness

In News by NAMI Wood County

NAMI Wood County would like to share with you an exciting study which has come to us from NAMI National.  If you have experienced stigma as an individual with a mental illness or a family member of a person with mental illness please consider helping with the study by answering a few questions which will not take too much of your time.  Please read the official email below for more information.


Dear NAMI leaders,

    As members of NAMI, we understand the description of mental illness as a double-edged sword. Such illnesses cause a multitude of distressing and debilitating symptoms. Potentially as debilitating and distressing are society’s prejudice and discrimination towards individuals with these conditions-and their family members. Stigma directed towards family members of individuals with mental illness impacts over four million families in the United States, yet no interventions have been shown to decrease such stigma. 

    This is why we need your help. We are conducting a study that explores the stigma experienced by family members of individuals who have mental illness. We are asking that you consider spreading the word about our study to other NAMI members. The study is currently posted on the NAMI website, and can be found at Home>Research>Research Opportunities>Other.

    Our long-term goal is to both develop and support programs that help individuals with mental illness and their families. Our first step is to collect information; as such, we are collecting needed and valuable information from family members across the country. Our goal is that this information will provide desperately-needed insight into treatments that alleviate the negative consequences of stigma directed at family members who experience stigma related to their family members’ illnesses. 

    Our study consists of several online questionnaires and two brief online tasks. Anyone who has a family member who has a mental illness (and is over the age of 18) is eligible to participate. Information on the questionnaires pertains to family members’ demographics, experiences related to mental illness stigma, feelings of personal empowerment, symptoms of depression, and quality of life. The two brief tasks are also related to these issues. Directions are given to make sure the task is understood. Those who participate may refuse to answer any item while participating in the study, which takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

    Those who are interested should follow this link to participate in the study:  Names will not be collected, so any information provided will be anonymous. This study has been reviewed and approved by the Washington State University Institutional Review Board.

We appreciate any time you have to contribute to our study.