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Stigma and Public Health: Issues and Interventions

East Baltimore
3rd Term
Mental Health
Academic Year
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method
Class Time(s)
Friday, 1:30 - 3:20pm
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
Stigma and discrimination are a major social determinant of health among multiple marginalized and oppressed communities. Do you want to evaluate the health impact of stigma and discrimination on a particular community or understand how public health programs may affect experiences of stigma and discrimination? Are you interested in learning more about the evidence behind how to reduce stigma and discrimination to address health inequity and social justice? Are you willing and ready to engage in critical reflection about the role of public health and our own actions in perpetuating or challenging stigmas?
Provides a broad understanding of the public health impact of stigma and discrimination related to a variety of identities and health conditions. Introduces students to frameworks for understanding stigma (including intersectionality), strategies for characterizing and measuring stigma, and intervention approaches for reducing stigma and discrimination at different ecological levels with the goal of improving health equity, access to quality healthcare services, and promoting psychosocial wellbeing.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe stigma mechanisms and apply different theoretical frameworks to understand stigma processes
  2. Discuss stigma and discrimination related to multiple identities and conditions (e.g. diagnosed mental disorder, substance use, race, immigration status, LGBTQ+) as a public health problem and social determinant of health, with a particular focus on mental health and well-being
  3. Distinguish between different strategies for characterizing and quantifying stigma and discrimination
  4. Critique the current evidence for stigma and discrimination mitigation or reduction strategies implemented at the institutional, community, and individual levels
  5. Evaluate critical issues, including ethics, social justice, and cultural competence as they relate to working with populations affected by stigma and discrimination, including through challenging one’s own prejudices, biases, and beliefs through critical reflection
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 20% Discussion
  • 10% Peer-feedback
  • 10% Reflection
  • 10% Written Assignment(s)
  • 40% Final Paper
  • 10% Final Presentation