Community-Driven Strategies to Address Stigma and Build Healthier Communities in Maine

This paper tells the story of three communities that are working to reduce stigma in order to create more equitable systems that enhance the health and well-being of all Mainers. Their efforts grew organically from community member stories about how they were treated in various systems, driving collaboratives to shift resources toward stigma reduction. These communities realized that if they didn’t do some deep work around community mindset, their system change efforts would not produce the health outcomes they hoped for, and the benefits of their system change efforts would not be felt equally by all of the residents of their communities.