The Anti-Stigma Project


“Stigma has its fingerprints all over the [behavioral health] system.”

Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General

“We all hold stigmas, even within mental health treatment centers.”


“You finally decide to get help, and then you’re punished for it –pigeonholed into a diagnosis, shamed, labeled, and discriminated against for life.
The stigma can be worse than the illness.”


While it may seem like an abstract concept, the consequences of stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors are quite tangible – and destructive. Stigma affects every member of the behavioral health community, including consumers, family members, providers, administrators, and policy makers. The stigma within the behavioral health system damages therapeutic, professional, and personal relationships and creates barriers to providing and receiving competent and effective behavioral health treatment and services.



About Us

The Anti-Stigma Project was formed in 1993 by the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration in collaboration with On Our Own of Maryland to reduce stigma within the behavioral health system. The mission of The Anti-Stigma project is to fight stigma by raising consciousness, facilitating ongoing dialogues, searching for creative solutions, and educating all participants within or connected to the behavioral health community, including consumers, family members, providers, educators, and administrators.


How We Can Help

The Anti-Stigma Project offers a series of workshops that challenge participants to examine the impact of stigma on both their professional and personal lives.  In these workshops, The Anti-Stigma Project facilitates ongoing dialogues that enable participants to talk openly on a level playing field about attitudes, behaviors, and practices that are stigmatizing.  Each workshop introduces new perspectives by stimulating thought provoking-interaction, interaction that breaks down traditional stigmatizing barriers and deepens the understanding and awareness of how stigma affects everyone in the behavioral health community.



Each workshop is team-facilitated by experienced trainers with extensive and varied experience in mental health, addictions, recovery, education and communications.  All facilitators of The Anti-Stigma Project combine a variety of learning approaches such as group discussions, role-playing, and multimedia analysis in order to facilitate positive change.

The Anti-Stigma Project workshops are free to mental health and substance abuse programs, clinics, or hospitals that receive full or partial public funding from the state of Maryland.

The workshops that we currently offer are:

Stigma…in Our Work, in Our Lives

This interactive workshop is designed to reduce stigmatizing behaviors, attitudes and practices within the mental health and addiction recovery communities.  Participants identify stigmatizing behaviors and attitudes and their impact on the design, delivery, and receipt of services, and develop possible solutions and action steps. (3 hours)

An Inside Look at Stigma

The consequences of internalized stigma can be devastating, including lowered self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness.  This interactive workshop is designed to help participants recognize, prevent and/or overcome its effects. (2 hours)

Stigma: Language Matters

In this experiential workshop, participants explore the power of language as it relates to stigma.  They also develop alternatives to stigmatizing language and learn to integrate these concepts into their professional and personal lives. (2 hours)

Stigma: It Doesn’t Discriminate

The consequences of stigma create barriers to providing and receiving competent and effective behavioral health treatment and services.  In this session, six thought-provoking and realistic skits take the audience on a journey through the many facets and faces of stigma, paying particular attention to the intricacies of language and culture. (2 hours)

For more information or if you would like to schedule a workshop, please contact the Training Coordinator at 410-540-9020 x20 or 1-800-704-0262 x20.


Distorted Perceptions

Distorted Perceptions is a public education campaign designed to challenge misconceptions and assumptions associated with mental illness and addictions. Our goal is to foster change through awareness and dialogue about the real and damaging impact of stigma.

For more information, please go to



Stigma: Language Matters Order Form

Distorted Perceptions: How Stigma Impacts Recover Video Order Form

ASP Information Brochure

Language Matters Flyer

Strategies for Internalized Stigma

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