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Examining the Impact of Public Service Announcements on Help Seeking and Stigma: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Corrigan, Patrick W. PsyD; Powell, Karina J. MS; Al-Khouja, Maya A.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 2015 - Volume 203 - Issue 11 - p 836–842
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000376
Original Articles

Health communication campaigns often seek to diminish stigma and promote care seeking, with public service announcements (PSAs) frequently prominent in these campaigns. One example is the Australian-based beyondblue campaign. As an alternative approach, campaigns may seek to reduce stigma by promoting stories of recovery. Participants completed measures of stigmatizing and empowering attitudes at pre-, post-, and 72-hour follow-up after being randomized to a PSA recovery-oriented video, treatable disease-oriented video (beyondblue), or control. When exposed to the recovery-oriented PSA, participants showed significant reduction in stigmatizing attitudes from pre- to posttest than beyondblue or the control group with the emergence of nonsignificant trends identified at follow-up. Findings suggest a recovery-oriented video leads to better change on measures of stigma and affirming attitudes than beyondblue. Despite the aforementioned findings, results failed to show either the recovery or beyondblue videos had a significant impact on intent to seek treatment.

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL.

Send reprint requests to Patrick W. Corrigan, PsyD, 3424 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60616. E-mail:

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