Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Program Name/Specialization

Community Psychology


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Geoffrey Nelson

Advisor Role

Thesis Advisor


Suicide is a stigmatized phenomenon within our society, and the stigma felt by individuals who struggle with suicide (suicide stigma) must be reduced if society aims at lowering suicide rates. Research on mental health stigma indicates that stigma can reduce help-seeking, lead to low self efficacy or negative self-talk, and can be detrimental to the recovery process. Suicide stigma research has focused on the perpetrators of the stigma, but research on those who are stigmatized has not been conducted. Research objectives for the current study are to explore public stigma, self stigma, and recommendations for reducing stigma giving voice to seven individuals who have experienced suicide stigma. Interpretive phenomenological analysis was used, indicating that suicide stigma is prominent in many forms in society, and negatively impacts those who experience it. Participants had strategies to manage and/or resist suicide stigma, and they called for greater education about suicide in society and a paradigm shift in the mental health system away from the medical model and towards a consumer-driven approach.

Convocation Year