At a glance

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.

- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition

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We just need to embrace human diversity.

- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition

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Resources

What are some common myths about mental illness?
This fact sheet debunks common myths linked with mental illness.
Type: Fact sheet
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Produced by: SANE Australia
 
Stigma, discrimination and mental illness
This 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 page
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Produced by: Better Health Channel
 
Discrimination and the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW Fact Sheet
This 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 Sheet
Length: 4 pages
Produced by: Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW
 
A Social Experiment on Mental Health Stigma | Beyond the Label
This video highlights and challenges some of the myths and stereotypes associated with mental illness.
Type: Video
Viewing time: 4:17 minutes
Produced by: Singapore National Council of Social Service
 
Breaking the Stigma - A short film about mental health
This short video highlights some of the myths leading to stigma about mental health.
Type: Video
Viewing time: 1:41
Produced by: Barking and Dagenham Council
Current as at: Monday 24 February 2020
Contact page owner: Mental Health Branch