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 >>


We need to discuss mental health issues in school

We need to keep people in schools by ensuring that mental health issues are discussed, not hidden away

“So, two A’s for English I see. Well, I hardly think you deserve them given your lack of attendance to my class.” That is what my English teacher said to me on GSCE results day. It all seems so long ago now but I will never forget how my teacher decided to shame me rather than praise me for my success.

Bipolar Disorder and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder: I’m so glad I got help because I know I’m on the right track

It’s not everyday you find yourself admitting that you have mental health issues. Ellie After childhood years of “bad behaviour” and “awkwardness” and my teenage thoughts locked away dangerously in my own head I found myself screaming - mid argument during the longest and darkest depression I had ever endured - “there is something wrong with me!” There it was: the elephant in the room. I had just said it.

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.

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