School for Social Work
This qualitative empirical study explores how mental health professionals intervene to help adolescents manage stigma following a psychiatric hospitalization. Twelve clinicians from Northeast public school, state department of mental health, and psychiatric hospital settings were interviewed and asked a series of questions about how they support teens in combating social stigma as they return to their communities. Interview questions addressed a variety of issues pertaining to stigma, including exploring how mental health professionals support adolescents in managing the disclosure process, assessing what resources are particularly helpful for teens in this position, and addressing differences in marginalization based on the visibility or invisibility of a young person's psychiatric condition. The major findings were descriptions, amongst participants, of common individual, family, group, and community-based interventions utilized with recently hospitalized teens. Research participants discussed a number of individual interventions, including supporting the use of coping and emotion regulation skills, planning and brainstorming, normalizing the teenлђs experience, and discussing the disclosure process. Participants also discussed the importance of providing interventions aimed at improving familial, social, and community supports for recently hospitalized adolescents. Future research might directly investigate the experiences of various populations of recently hospitalized adolescents, assessing what types of familial, clinical, academic, and social supports would best support the management of stigma and the reintegration process as discussed by the teens themselves.
McKenna, Megan L., "What if they think I'm crazy : clinical interventions to help adolescents manage stigma following a psychiatric hospitalization" (2008). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.