We asked our supporters to share their experiences of discrimination and stigma in an online survey. More than 2770 people got in touch with Time to Change to let us know about the impact that stigma has on their lives.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. The results of the survey have helped us to build a picture of the damaging impact that it has on people’s lives.
From your responses, we learned that stigma and discrimination is still very much widespread in society, with 80% of people saying they had experienced it at some point. It affects all areas of people’s lives, and it can stop people from living their lives to the full – from having relationships to looking for work. Fear of discrimination can also stop people with mental health problems from being open about how they’re feeling, and it can stop them from getting help when they’re unwell.
Most shockingly, 60 % of people still say that the stigma that people face is as bad as, or worse than, the symptoms, while nearly a third said that stigma has made them want to give up on life.
You also told us that Time to Change is having a genuine impact on people’s confidence and ability to tackle stigma but we know that there is still a long way to go. People with mental health problems have felt more empowered to talk to their friends, family and colleagues and to apply for jobs as a result of seeing our campaign.
However, what you’ve told us also proves that there is a need for us to carry on with our work to fight discrimination. With our new round of funding from the Department of Health and Comic Relief, (and with your help!) we’re looking forward to seeing further improvements to public attitudes to mental health over the next four years.