Janice Knapp

Eliminating the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness in Healthcare Settings: Examining Provider Training Using Anti-Oppressive Instruction and Contact (AOIC) Training

Janice Knapp graduated magna cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a certificate in Behavioral Forensics. Upon completion of her undergrad, she began her social work journey, completing her Master of Social Work at the University of Central Florida before beginning her Doctor of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, where she is currently a doctoral candidate. Janice is presently employed as a Human Resources Security Analyst at the Walt Disney Company. She is also a certified grief counselor.

During her Master of Social Work, Janice spent a year working with dialysis patients and their families at a VA Health Care center. After recognizing how well patients were cared for during their dialysis treatment, but how alone family members were as they waited for their loved ones, she designed and implemented a dialysis caregivers group for the family members of her patients. This dialysis-specific caregiver group proved to be an innovative idea and was accepted by other Veteran Administration dialysis centers and presented to the National Kidney Foundation.

Janice’s research interest revolves around the reduction of stigma and biases in healthcare settings. As the daughter of an individual with mental illness, and having experienced trauma herself, Janice has seen firsthand how detrimental these stigmas and biases can be to a patient’s overall care. As the study of this topic is something that has only recently commenced, Janice has begun to investigate a new intervention based on anti-oppressive theory and extended patient contact that may help to alleviate these biases in both university medical programs and clinical settings.