Stigma and discrimination

It’s quite likely that one day you, one of your friends, colleagues or family members will experience a mental health problem. Yet mental illness is still surrounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear.

What does this mean?

The attitudes people have towards those of us with mental health problems mean it is harder for them to work, make friends and in short, live a normal life.

  • People become isolated
  • They are excluded from everyday activities
  • It is harder to get or keep a job
  • People can be reluctant to seek help, which makes recovery slower and more difficult
  • Their physical health is affected.

Many people say that being discriminated against in work and social situations can be a bigger burden than the illness itself.

It has an impact on society and the economy too, when people who can work are denied the opportunity to, and when people are prevented from playing an active role in their communities.

“We're a small company, there's no room for passengers.” Read Laura’s blog >>

How widespread is stigma?

Despite attitudes about sexuality, ethnicity and other similar issues improving, and despite some improvements since the launch of Time to Change, discrimination against people with mental health problems is still widespread.

The Stigma Shout survey that we carried out at the beginning of Time to Change showed that almost nine out of ten people with mental health problems (87%) reported the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on their lives. 

The research also showed that the way family, friends, neighbours and colleagues behave can have a big impact on the lives of people with mental health problems.

Man running

“I try and openly talk about my experiences, though that does bring laughter and ridicule sometimes.” Read Alan’s blog >> 

How can I help?

You can help us create a society where mental health problems are not hidden in shame and secrecy. You can ensure your friend or relative is not afraid to speak out about their problems, or is left wondering where they can turn for help..

“Don’t worry mate, you’ll be alright. Merry Christmas! Now tell me that one about the peanuts again…” Read a blog on talking about mental health >> 

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