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 >>


Confronting stigma stripped it of its power

Rose Bretecher blogs for Time to Change about OCDMental illness has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My mother has bipolar disorder and I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, and since I was a tiny child I’ve felt the stigma weighing on our family. For fear of using clumsy language, people never really knew how to ask about our wellbeing, and the resulting isolation was palpable.

It's time to change the stigma associated with mental health

I was bullied during my entire school life. Sometimes I think back about my bullies and feel myself seething with rage, other times I completely understand why they did it. I was always an odd one at school, either bursting into tears at the tiniest thing and not speaking to anyone for days on end, or being so hyper that I'd get sent out of lessons and given detentions every other day.

People think that mental illness is something to be ashamed of. I'm not ashamed.

For as long as I can remember I have felt like I have been burdened by living with mental health issues which almost ruined my life. The thing is, I didn’t let it, I won’t let it and as I’ve come to accept my issues - they are no longer a burden. 

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