#OTalk 17th Sep 2019 – Stigma – Intervention into toxic environments

This weeks #OTalk will be hosted by Keir Harding – @Keirwales


noun: stigma; plural noun: stigmas; plural noun: stigmata

“a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person”

On October 3rd the study day “Occupational Therapy and the Diagnosis of Personality Disorder” takes place in London.Personality Disorder is an interesting diagnosis in many ways, not least because of the amount of stigma associated with it.This #OTalk is based on one of the sessions taking place that day.

As occupational therapists, we are encouraged to look at the things people want to do, need to do and are capable of doing (Volition, Habituation and Skills).We also consider how the environment either supports or inhibits a persons ability to function.While it’s easy to pay attention to the physical environment and consider how it can be adapted, this is less obvious in the social environment.

In this #Otalk I’m going to suggest that stigma, prejudice and discrimination is a toxic part of the social environment that severely inhibits functioning.It has the potential to attach to a variety of people (normally disempowered minorities) with the effect of shaping staff attitudes and thus their ability to support those in their care.Equally the way that the environment responds to us will shape how we think about ourselves, others and the world with a profound effect on the occupations we are able to engage in.While my interest is predominately in mental health I’m very interested in this concept within the whole of healthcare.

On the night we will consider:

1 What do we think of the idea that Stigma is part of the social environment?

2 How do we see Stigma played out in our work environment? What is done? What isn’t done? What gets said?

3 What is the impact of stigma on those we are supposed to care for?
4 What is the impact on us and the staff we work with?

5 How do we adapt the social environment to facilitate optimal functioning? How do we challenge stigma?Is this a core part of our role?

If my dastardly plans come to fruition, we will all leave this talk convinced that an awareness of stigma and a determination to challenge it is a vital role for OTs. We should also have picked up a few tools to ensure that we have the best chance of success.

You can book onto the study day here:

There’s discounted places for service users. Let @Keirwales know you booked because you saw it on #otalk and he will give you a gift card for a coffee shop.

Post chat updates:

5 thoughts on “#OTalk 17th Sep 2019 – Stigma – Intervention into toxic environments”

    1. Hi there

      Otalk is a Twitter chat, So it’s a discussion done via tweets, We collate a transcript of the tweets a few days after the chat and are always added to the blog.


  1. Thats great! Thank you for your reply! I thought it was like radio-disucssion..and i was waiting and waiting… but couldnt find where the discussion is held on! Please let us know when you uploaded where can we find the tweets discussion as i am really interested in this particular subject! Thank you


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