4.1 Stigma

Stigma refers to negative attitudes that involve discriminatory actions towards, for example, people who are receiving treatment for TB or towards those living with mental health conditions. Unfortunately, this is very common, and this stigma can result in serious violations of human rights (66). Since TB and mental health conditions can affect people who are socially vulnerable, health-related stigma and discrimination can exacerbate other social stigmas which can adversely affect a person’s personal, social, health and financial well-being. Health-related stigma and discrimination can have significant negative impacts on physical and mental health. Staff providing TB care should therefore be trained to avoid the use of stigmatizing language and practices related to both TB and mental health conditions. WHO’s QualityRights initiative includes e-training³ which promotes the rights of people with psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities (including mental health conditions), to address stigma, discrimination and abuse. It promotes improved quality of care in mental health and related services using a person-centred, rights-based recovery approach. The training is designed for a wide audience, including health workers.

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