Stigma in Global Context-Mental Health Study (SGC-MHS)

Bellagio Conference, Bellagio, Italy, October 15-19, 2007


With funding from the Fogarty International Center, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, a team of researchers at Indiana University-Bloomington and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) led the "Stigma in Global Context - Mental Health Study" (SGC-MHS). This 17-country International study was the first theoretically based and methodologically coordinated attempt to understand the extent to which mental illness is understood and stigmatized across countries.

In October 2007, the SGC-MHS research team met with other scientists, policymakers, and practitioners at the Bellagio Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. The conference, funded by the Rockefellar Center, yielded collaborative and fruitful interactions resulting in ideas for innovative public health policy approaches and dissemination efforts.

The Bellagio Study and Conference Center, located on a peninsula on the southern shores of Lake Como, about two hours north of Milan, is central to The Rockefellar Foundation's committment to "promote the well-being" of humanity. The Center provides a platform for:

The center's Conference Program leverages "convening power": the ability to bring notable and diverse participants from around the world together to share ideas and collaborate.

The SGC-MHS group was housed in the Frati, a 17th-century friary.

Presentations at the Bellagio Conference included:

The Global Map of Stigma: This session began the discussion of findings from the 14 countries for which cleaned datasets were available. We looked at the broad view of the global levels of stigma, followed by an examination of the distribution of stigma across national contexts. We also explored the associations of different items within each category of stigma.

What Underlies Stigma and Cross-National Differences: Macro Hypotheses: The emphasis of this session was on examining the relationships across the stigma domains and considering macro hypotheses that have been suggested as key to stigma cross-nationally.

Bellagio Participants, L-R: Tait Medina, Violet Yebei, Howard Goldman, Ann Rogers, Emiline Otey, Alex Capshew, Norman Sartorius, Susan Solomon, Tom Smith, Bernice Pescosolido, Jack Martin, Terry White, John Monahan, Xingzhu Liu, Rodney Elgie, J. Scott Long, Jibum Kim.