Mental health-related stigma and discrimination are a complex and widespread issue with negative effects on numerous aspects of life of people with lived experience of mental health conditions. Which is why this work was developed, as it was thought that there is a need to explore in more detail how indirect social contact have been used in LMICs already and how it can be defined so that future research and anti-stigma programs could potentially benefit from the review or build on it.
6 databases were searched (search strategy can be found in additional materials) to retrieve relevant studies. Emerging themes were coded using a thematic synthesis method, and a narrative synthesis was undertaken to present the results.
This review proposes a definition of ISC: “Indirect social contact entails a culturally/locally relevant active or passive interaction with real-life (or based on real-life) stories, narratives, or experiences of people with lived experience or those in contact or close to them (family or practitioners); and, uses online, technological, printed or other forms of traditional or new media for conveying information that elicits positive emotional or empathic responses.”
Most ISC interventions used videos, other options include e.g. creative strategies like theatrical performances. ISC interventions can facilitate active or passive engagement with the material; personal narratives & recovery stories are important, as is cultural adaptation.
ISC interventions look to be promising , but more research is needed with clearer reporting on intervention procedures, components and contents of the interventions for further detailed understandings of processes and impacts.
By Akerke Makhmud, Graham Thornicroft & Petra Gronholm