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Stigma attached to mental health problems

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A new research revealed that nearly 90% of people suffering from mental health problems have been affected by stigma and discrimination.

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.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This does not surprise me at all. I am a RGN who also has bi-polar disorder. When working in an A/E Department at Southampton General Hospital I was posted to an E grade. Although Icould never prove it I know for sure that two senior members of staff (i.e. G grades) opposed my promotion as I had had three months off sick three years beforehand. I had to fight to prove my worth and eventually left. I have also encountered the most appalling attitudes in A/E by - mostly nurses - towards the ever increasing amount of overdoses that present in the ED. I was responsible for conducting an audit on how efficiently ODs were treated and part of that was to try to instill into my colleagues theabsolutely necessity to treat this client group with compassion and understanding instead of derision. Alas 10 years on I have found from working in London, Oxford and other places the same attitudes prevail. I am extremely open about my illness and speak freely of it in an effort to try to abate this appaling stigma - that, I feel, is one way. Does anyone else have a better idea???

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