Abstract

Educating the public that mental illness is a brain disease is a popular strategy for combating mental illness stigma. Evidence suggests that while such an approach reduces blame for mental illness, it may unintentionally exacerbate other components of stigma, particularly the benevolence and dangerousness stigmas. Conversely, psychosocial explanations have proven promising, yet they ignore the growing evidence regarding genetic and biological factors. We propose a balanced approach that combats the various myths about mental illness with factual information.