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Mental heath stigma

21st July 2008

According to a poll by the Rethink charity, 90% of people who suffer from mental health issues said they were "frequently stigmatised".

depression

Respondents reported that people who didn't know them, such as shop assistants, were more inclined to accept their condition, while people close to them were more likely to treat them badly.

The charity spoke to over 3,000 people and asked them in what ways their mental health problems impacted on their day-to-day lives.

The results indicated that some respondents found their condition stopped them from interacting with people. Some said they avoided making a report if they had seen a crime committed, because they were worried about how the police would see them.

35% reported that the people they worked for had "discriminated against them" and higher numbers said their "own family" had not treated them well. Over 30% said their neighbours had stigmatised them.

23% of respondents said their GP had discriminated against them, but only 10% reported that shop workers or transport staff had treated them badly.

Rethink will launch a £18m campaign called Moving People, to target this problem.

Paul Corry, from the charity, said: "Our research clearly shows that stigma and discrimination are ruining people's lives."

"People with mental health problems have enough on their plates without facing additional pressure caused by other people's archaic and bigoted opinions."

 

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