The purpose of the Collaborative is to conduct cutting edge research on self-stigma and its relationship with the experience of mental illness and help seeking. Another goal is to develop and test interventions that will help reduce stigma and increase the likelihood that people in need will seek quality mental health care services.

The purpose of this website is to organize the information regarding the self-stigma associated with seeking help and to provide a useful tool for researchers and clinicians who wish to learn more about self-stigma, contribute to ongoing research in this area, and implement innovative interventions that will assist those they work with.


In 2005, Drs. Vogel and Wade had a conversation about the role of stigma on the help-seeking process. Informed by previous research, the discussion turned to the potentially differential roles that public stigma and self stigma might have on one’s willingness to seek help. From that conversation, the research on self-stigma at Iowa State was born. The first task was to create a reliable and valid measurement of self-stigma for seeking help. As a result they created the Self-Stigma for Seeking Help Scale (SSOSH; Vogel, Wade, & Haake, 2006). Over the past 5 years, requests for information about the SSOSH have increased dramatically within the U.S. and around the world. This website includes information about the SSOSH scale and research that has been done using it. In addition, there is information about researchers interested in this area, and links to other relevant information.