Building Beautiful Minds: Teaching Through Movies to Tackle Stigma in Psychology Students in the UAE
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Objective: The use of movie-based educational interventions has been used widely and is considered an effective method aiming at changing the stigmatizing attitudes of future mental health professionals. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a 10-week intervention that combined movies and related discussions in a sample of 26 psychology students in the United Arab Emirates, where the opportunities for real contact with patients with mental illness are limited. Methods: By means of mixed methods approach, students were assessed at two time points by the Opening Minds Stigma Scale for Health Care Providers [OMS-HC] (T1-T2) and by qualitative questions only at the end of the intervention (T2). Results: The results corroborated changes to some of the students’ attitudes, namely agency, compassion, and proximity, but did not prove a general attitudinal change. Additionally, students acknowledged the benefit obtained by their participation with regard to their learning experience, pointing out the importance of combining theory with practical examples of mental illness for spreading awareness and tackling stigma. Conclusion: The results are discussed in the light of their importance for the United Arab Emirates educational context.