The STORM Programme
Standing Up For Myself (STORM) is a group programme designed to help people with learning disabilities to feel good about themselves, say no to bad attitudes and actions, and speak up for themselves.
This project consists of the evaluation of a new psychosocial group intervention designed to increase the capacity of people with learning disabilities to manage and resist stigma. It draws on cognitive behavioural and narrative approaches, as well as liberation psychology in aiming to support people with learning disabilities to cope with and stand up to the stigma they often have to face on account of having a learning disability.
Research funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme (NIHR PHR Project: 17/149/03) and conducted in partnership with Mencap and the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.
Why is this research important?
Research shows that people with learning disabilities often face negative consequences because of stereotypes, prejudice, bullying and discrimination associated with having a learning disability (what we collectively refer to as ‘stigma’ hereafter). Despite positive changes in policies, service provision and societal views, negative attitudes and discrimination remain everyday realities for many people with learning disabilities. Developing effective ways of promoting skills and confidence in standing up to stigma is likely to have positive effects on individuals' mental well-being and social interactions. To date few interventions have targeted this and none have been shown to be effective.
WHAT STORM PARTICIPANTS HAVE SAID
“STORM made me more confident just by feeling like you’re alright, there’s nothing stopping you, provided you do it in the right way. … if you do it in the right way and the right manner there’s nothing wrong with standing up for yourself."