Empowerment is essential if the person with the illness is to shake off the stereotype that we carry with us from our earliest years – the stereotype that tells us that a person with mental illness is incapable, unpredictable and worthless. To challenge this self-stigmatization we must show the person his or her many strengths and abilities and provide opportunities to use them.
We can achieve this through psychiatric rehabilitation techniques, including vocational rehabilitation, normalizing treatment settings and family support. We can help develop the mutual support that flows from other people who have experienced similar forms of illness through collaborative models, such as the psychosocial clubhouse and educational and support programs that involve peers as teachers and mentors.
The information and videos in this section will enrich your understanding of these approaches.