About The INDIGO Network

INDIGO is a collaboration of research colleagues in over 40 countries worldwide committed to developing knowledge about mental illness related stigma and discrimination, both in terms of their origins and their eradiation. It is coordinated by Mirja Koschorke, Maria Milenova, Nicole Votruba and Graham Thornicroft at the Centre for Global Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

INDIGO began in 2006 (led by Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft, Professor Diana Rose and Professor Norman Sartorius). The first two studies addressed the nature and severity of stigma and discrimination as experienced (and as anticipated) by people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or depression (1-6). These projects used a newly constructed measure called the Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC-12) which is based upon the most frequent and most important aspects of stigma and discrimination reported directly by people with mental health problems (7).

What initiatives does The INDIGO Network website host?

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The INDIGO Network is an international collaboration which ran four projects between 2015-2020.


Questionnaires, guides, scales and schedules measuring knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards mental illness.


The commission, consisting of an Advisory board and Commissioners, was set up by The Lancet, KCL and GMHPN.


The INDIGO Partnership is a research programme funded by the UK Medical Research Council between 2018-2024.


What materials can be downloaded from The INDIGO Network website?

Researchers in the Section of Community Mental Health (CMH) at King’s College London have developed seven measures relating to different aspects of stigma and discrimination.  These measures (below) are freely available so long as you comply with our conditions, including completing a short registration survey (this replaces the need to request for permission to use the measures).

To download the scales and guides please, complete our short survey. For more information on the measures, please click here.

So far we have tried to understand the impact of stigma and discrimination. Next we are now developing ways to reduce stigma and discrimination. We know from recent reviews of the literature that it is contact between people with experience of mental ill helath and others which is the most effective way to reduce stigma and discrimination. But so far nearly all this information comes from high income countries. So we will especially focus our work in the coming years upon identifying methods to reduce stigma and discrimination in low- and middle-income countries (8-10).

The newly published paper in the Official Journal of the World Psychiatric Association titled “Key lessons learned from the INDIGO global network on mental health related stigma and discrimination” summarises the work done by the Network in the last decade. The paper can be accessed freely at the Wiley Online Library.

For more information on the work done by the INDIGO Network, please contact Maria Milenova at maria.milenova@kcl.ac.uk.

The INDIGO Network countries

Key Publications and References

  1. Thornicroft G, Brohan E, Rose D, Sartorius N, Leese M, Group IS. Global pattern of experienced and anticipated discrimination against people with schizophrenia: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet. 2009 Jan 31;373(9661):408-15.
  2. Lasalvia A, Zoppei S, Van Bortel T, Bonetto C, Cristofalo D, Wahlbeck K, et al. Global pattern of experienced and anticipated discrimination reported by people with major depressive disorder: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet. 2013 Jan 5;381(9860):55-62.
  3. Lasalvia A, Van Bortel T, Bonetto C, Jarayam G, van Weeghel J, Zoppei S, et al. Cross-national variations in reported discrimination among people treated for major depression worldwide: the ASPEN/INDIGO international study. British Journal of Psychiatry. 2015.
  4. Lanfredi M, Zoppei S, Ferrari C, Bonetto C, Van Bortel T, Thornicroft G, et al. Self-stigma as a mediator between social capital and empowerment among people with major depressive disorder in Europe: The ASPEN study. Eur Psychiatry. 2014 Aug 25.
  5. Zoppei S, Lasalvia A, Bonetto C, Van Bortel T, Nyqvist F, Webber M, et al. Social capital and reported discrimination among people with depression in 15 European countries. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology. 2014;49:1589-98.
  6. Quinn N, Knifton L, Goldie I, Van Bortel T, Dowds J, Lasalvia A, et al. Nature and impact of European anti-stigma depression programmes. Health Promot Int. 2013 Jan 24.
  7. Brohan E, Clement S, Rose D, Sartorius N, Slade M, Thornicroft G. Development and psychometric evaluation of the Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC). Psychiatry Research. 2013 Jun 30;208(1):33-40.
  8. Mehta N, Clement S, Marcus E, Stona A-C, Bezborodovs N, Evans-Lacko S, et al. Systematic review of evidence for effective interventions to reduce mental health related stigma and discrimination: medium and long-term effectiveness and interventions in low- and middle-income countries. British Journal of Psychiatry. 2015.
  9. Thornicroft G, Mehta N, Clement S, Evans-Lacko S, Doherty M, Rose D, et al. Evidence for effective interventions to reduce mental health related stigma and discrimination: narrative review. Lancet. 2015.
  10. Semrau M, Evans-Lacko S, Koschorke M, Ashenafi L, Thornicroft G. Stigma and discrimination related to mental illness in low- and middle-income countries. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2015 May 4:1-14.