StigmaBeat: Working with rural young people to reduce mental health stigma

The StigmaBeat project stands out for its innovative approach, collaborating with young people from rural communities to create short films to combat mental health and intersectional stigma. Through creative co-design workshops, participants were invited and supported to express their lived experiences and perspectives. The project outcomes include not only developing new knowledge that can be used to understand and combat stigma, but a sense of ownership and agency among the young people involved.

The workshops provided a dynamic platform for collaboration, enabling participants to brainstorm, problem-solve, and ultimately co-create impactful content. By harnessing the expertise of those with lived experience, the project aimed to intervene in social issues and reshape perceptions around mental health and other types of stigma such as class stigma, homophobia and gender-based stereotypes. StigmaBeat produced compelling films while cultivating skills, fostering community, and sparking meaningful conversations among the young people and researchers involved.


Photographs capturing some of the StigmaBeat workshop activities

The following photographs capture some of the activities undertaken by young people in the StigmaBeat workshops.

Figure 1: Creating a safe space

Figure 2: Wearing a mask

Figure 3: Stigma group brainstorm

Figure 4: Games used to stimulate deep conversations about stigma

Figure 5: Close-up of ‘The wall’ (one)

Figure 6: Close-up of ‘The wall’ (two)

You can read more about the StigmaBeat methodology in the Journal of Qualitative Health Research.

Further reading

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