The Stigma of Mental Health

The false beliefs of mental illness.

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Your Task

Using the resources provided on this page, and additional resources if needed, research the problem of stigmas and how they apply to mental health. Depict the stigma using the strategy of picture notes. You will be presenting the information to the class using only your picture notes as a guide.

Stigma brings experiences and feelings of:

  • shame
  • blame
  • hopelessness
  • distress
  • misrepresentation in the media
  • reluctance to seek and/or accept necessary help

Families are also affected by stigma, leading to a lack of support. For mental health professionals, stigma means that they themselves are seen as abnormal, corrupt or evil, and psychiatric treatments are often viewed with suspicion and horror.

A recent study found that

  • nearly 1 in 4 of people felt depression was a sign of personal weakness and would not employ a person with depression
  • around a third would not vote for a politician with depression
  • 42% thought people with depression were unpredictable
  • one in 5 said that if they had depression they would not tell anyone
  • nearly 2 in 3 people surveyed thought people with schizophrenia were unpredictable and a quarter felt that they were dangerous
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Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness