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 >>


Stigma and compassion - why it really does matter what people say and do

I was distressed, confused: often tearful.Sheila's blog I remember that bit. Looking back over a decade later, I'm pretty sure I was annoying, too.

Barbara – not her real name – paid attention, unlike some of her colleagues. I can't remember if this particular conversation happened before, or after, she took time out to plait my hair. To encourage me to eat.

Stigma stops people like my dad speaking out about suicidal feelings

Warning, this blog discusses the issue of suicide and may be triggering for some readers.

Beginning to type out a text to your sister that reads, ‘Hey, did you know dad tried to take his own life again quite recently…’

Pause. Contemplate writing, ‘He says he’s only still here through luck, not judgement’. Pause. Delete the content of the draft message, and instead send a silly picture you create from emojis that probably isn’t wholly appropriate to send your big sister.

Pages

Email updates

Keep up to date with all our news, information and events via email.

Media centre

Guidelines and contacts for all those who work in the media.

Resources

Download leaflets, posters, reports and our free magazine.

Need support?

If you need urgent support there are many places to go for help.