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 all need to do a better job of opening up to mental health

I first experienced mental health problems at age nine, but I didn’t really know what was happening. My parents just thought I was scared of everything and that I was a nervous little girl. At around the age of 14 I went to see a young person’s counsellor because my anxiety had got worse. I’d got to the point where I couldn’t sleep alone any more – I had to share a room with my sister.

Having anxiety & depression doesn't make me less of a man

As a man, admitting to having a mental illness is still seen as a 'weakness'. The stigma still remains. This week, a post I made on Twitter regarding anxiety (#anxietyepidemic), received a lot of feedback, including from men who engaged in the conversation. This has encouraged me to write further about my own experiences, and hopefully help men to talk.

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