Mental health stigma and discrimination: blogs and stories

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. When we make assumptions about how mental health problems will affect someone's behaviour, this makes it more likely that they will be singled out, or labelled as different, dangerous or strange. This is what we call stigma. Treating someone differently from how we treat others because of their mental health, whether consciously or subconsciously, is what we call discrimination.

People with mental illnesses often experience stigma and discrimination that can be worse than the illness itself. In our Stigma Shout survey, 9 out 10 people with mental health problems reported the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on their lives.

These blogs are written by people who have personal experiences of mental health stigma or discrimination and illustrate how it can affect them.

You can help by ensuring your friend or relative is not afraid to speak out about mental health or is left wondering where they can turn for help. Read our tips on talking or pledge to talk about mental health today >>


Being honest about my mental health problems helped my colleagues to better support me

I graduated this summer and I recently started my first full time, 'real' job. Right from the start I made the decision to fill out the medical form truthfully – I disclosed that I had depression and that I was on medication for it. I'm usually always open about my depression, but I've been warned so many times not to disclose to an employer that I have a mental illness that it took a bit of thinking.

Knowing I had support at work made a big difference when I experienced a mental health problem

In early 2013 my mental health took a turn for the worse, I started to write a blog as a way to get my feelings out into the open, and so I could try and make some kind of sense of what I was going through. What I didn’t realise, was just how many people would read it and share in my journey through the confusing emotions, ups and downs of having mental ill health.

I got a positive response at work when I was open about my mental health problems

Although I no longer hold my job at my previous work place, I was overwhelmingly surprised at my more than delightful recent visit to say hello. I was encouraged on my progress and made to feel like a part of their team still. I was not made to feel uncomfortable and was open about my progress since my last visit.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, talks Public Attitudes and Mental Health

"We've got many people's minds and hearts to transform, but progress is being made"

Just before World Mental Health Day 2014, Time to Change launched their Public Attitudes Survey Results. In the video below, Director of Time to Change Sue Baker talks about what the results mean, and delivers an important message for the future.

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