Our First Stigma Seminar – Now on YouTube!

At the end of April, our Connecting Families team hosted the first in a series of Stigma seminars. Attended by over 50 people and delivered online, it was an opportunity to present two pieces of exceptional work and get some in-depth discussions going.

We hope to further the conversations across Scotland on how we tackle the stigma families feel, which can sometimes prevent them from reaching out for help. By running these seminars, we build on the work we deliver in our Exploring Stigma and the Power of Kindness workshops, where we offer practical solutions, rather than just acknowledging the problem.

The seminar was very grateful to host Michelle Young, Dr of Philosophy, of ALM College Dundee and Dundee University, who presented ‘Access Denied: Neoliberalism, service provision and health inequalities in Scotland’.

We also welcomed Lynne Gilmour and Louise Honeybul who discussed ‘The Stepping Stones Study: evaluating the care pathways for women who use and/or are in treatment for drug use during the perinatal period and their babies’.

Thanks to everyone who attended – more coming soon!

The mention of race is important – we have been talking about inclusive services for almost 30 years and, if you look at drug treatment services in Scotland, we have to believe that almost no black person in Scotland has a drug problem.  That cannot be accurate. What makes this worse from a stigma perspective is that in many minority ethnic communities, people with a drug problem will be heavily stigmatised.” – Attendee

One of the major issues Scotland services are facing is loss of experienced staff, retention of staff and a huge number of vacancies that exist across the sector. The SDF (Scottish Drugs Forum) looked into the workforce burnout and there are number of reasons detailed why staff are leaving and a number of issues exist but can be rectified (including stigma!) Lots of HCPs (health care professionals) are coming into services and “learning on the job” and are not given protected time to learn, educate and develop and service providers must allow staff to develop. The role of supervision and support within the workforce is also significantly lacking.” Attendee

You can now watch the full session on our YouTube.

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