Stigma is a mark, stain or blemish. Myths, misunderstanding, ignorance, negative attitudes can all result in stigma for people living with mental health conditions, who may be treated as dangerous, different or as if they are somehow less than other people. The stigma is not true or fair, but it still hurts.
When a person is labelled by their illness they are no longer seen as the person they are, but as part of a stereotyped group.
People who experience mental health concerns are not likely to be violent. Their emotional experiences do not affect their intelligence and they make wonderful contributions to our community.
- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition
People who experience a mental health concern are not “sick” or “ill”, they are just having a very human emotional experience – an experience that would make sense if people knew a little about their life.
We just need to embrace human diversity.
The Facts about Mental Health Issues
This fact sheet outlines key facts relating to mental health issues, as distinct from stigma.Type: Fact sheetEstimated reading time: 5 minutesProduced by: SANE Australia
Stigma, discrimination and mental illnessThis is an overview of stigma including how it can be harmful, ways to deal with stigma, and how legislation protects the rights of people with mental illness.Type: Web pageEstimated reading time: 5 minutesProduced by: Better Health Channel
Discrimination and the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW Fact SheetThis fact sheet explains the types of discrimination and harassment that are against the law in NSW and what you can do if it happens to you or someone you are supporting.Type: Fact SheetLength: 4 pagesProduced by: Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW
A Social Experiment on Mental Health Stigma | Beyond the LabelThis video highlights and challenges some of the myths and stereotypes associated with mental illness.Type: VideoViewing time: 4:17 minutesProduced by: Singapore National Council of Social Service
Breaking the Stigma - A short film about mental healthThis short video highlights some of the myths leading to stigma about mental health.Type: VideoViewing time: 1:41Produced by: Barking and Dagenham Council