The research revealed that millions of people with mental health illnesses were unable to do everyday things like making new friends, applying for jobs and going to the shops. Carers of people with mental illness have also faced stigma and discrimination that has stopped them from doing things.
The survey revealed that stigma was mainly caused by immediate family (36%), then by employers (35%), neighbours (31%) and friends (25%).
Over 3,000 people with mental health problems participated in the ‘Stigma Shout’ survey, which was carried out by the charity Rethink on behalf of ‘Moving People’. The survey will inform an £18m mental health anti-stigma campaign to be launched in January 2009.
Paul Corry, director of public affairs for Rethink, 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.
‘The Moving People anti-stigma campaign will lay firm foundations for ending mental health discrimination in the UK, but long term it is essential that the government ploughs hefty resources into tackling the problem, as has been done in Scotland and New Zealand.’