Stigma Intervention Among Primary Health Workers in Toronto


Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)




Substance Use
Mental Health Disorder


Behavioral: CHC's given the intervention

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This project is measuring the effectiveness of an anti-stigma intervention among primary care providers. Both staff and clients will be asked to complete survey data in order to measure the effectiveness. This is a randomized control trial in that three health centres will receive the intervention and three will not. Results will determine if this intervention reduces stigma among staff toward people with a mental health problem and/or substance use problem.

Full description

The Office of Transformative Global Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), with funding provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), has developed and will be implementing a three year anti-stigma study. This project is a randomized control study which compares the effectiveness of an anti-stigma intervention in three Toronto community health centres. Six centres were selected and randomized so that three receive the intervention and the other three do not. The goal is to determine if the intervention impacts service providers' attitudes and behaviours towards people with mental health problems and addictions. Additionally, the study measures client's perceptions of stigma in order to see if they believe stigma has been reduced or eliminated. The interventions incorporate the following components: innovative contact-based training, raising awareness, recovery-based arts, and a thorough analysis of each centre's policies and procedures. Innovative contact-based training utilizes an adult education model and focuses on the results of a preliminary situational assessment conducted at each site. Emphasis is placed on concurrent disorders, cultural issues, and inter-professional collaboration. Four three-hour workshops were held at each intervention CHC throughout the project period and included a needs-based curriculum, contact-based education to reduce prejudice and social intolerance, and culturally competent care for vulnerable populations. Raising awareness includes various forms of media such as posters to increase awareness about stigma. Recovery-based arts was geared towards a local team of leaders who selected one art form for their CHC and were taught by an art expert. Approximately ten service users with a mental health and/or substance abuse problem were invited to participate along with three staff members. After 10 bi-weekly art workshops, staff and clients will showcase their work at each CHC. Finally, an analysis of policies and procedures have been conducted by research staff. This determines what already exists and using an anti-stigma/pro-recovery approach to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Program and policies were studied to identify unintended positive and negative impacts using a modified version of the Health Equity Assessment Tool. Features of the Quality Rights Tool Kit were also used. Recommendations from this process will be developed and shared with each CHC.


270 estimated patients




18+ years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Staff - all staff, no matter their position, is asked to participate.
  • Clients - individuals reporting current or past mental illness and/or substance use problems (MHSUD) AND have received services or participate in any programming at the CHC

Exclusion criteria

  • Staff - no exclusion criteria
  • Clients - Clients under the age of 18 years, clients who do not have a MHSUD, or clients that are not safely able to participate.

Trial design

Primary purpose

Health Services Research



Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

270 participants in 2 patient groups

CHC's given the intervention
Experimental group
Three CHC sites where all staff receive all components of the intervention. Training, Media, Art workshops, and a Policy analysis as well as survey completion.
Behavioral: CHC's given the intervention
CHC's with NO intervention
No Intervention group
Three CHC sites where all staff and a selection of clients complete surveys but receive no intervention.

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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