Mental Health: Stigma and Discrimination in life

There’s a huge stigma around mental health, which in turn can begin a load of discrimination to individuals which sadly suffer from this illness.

So firstly, let’s work out the difference between a stigma and discrimination

– A Stigma is a process in which an individual or group of individuals are devalued due to a real or perceived difference

– Discrimination results from a stigma and is the unfair and unjustified treatment of a group or individual due to their differences

Often individuals with a mental health issue may be described as – crazy, mad, loony, a nutter and a psycho and this is just a few which we can only tell you. Many of these individuals are believed to be ‘not all there’ just as they have a mental health issue.

Discrimination and stigmas occur due to the majority of the general public not knowing about mental health, and the different forms which it can take. It’s a general reaction we all imbedded within us, when we don’t know about something, we essentially either research and wish to know more or we sit back and judge it because we don’t understand.

Another way in which stigmas and discrimination begins is due to our opinions about everything in life. These can come from friends, family, social media and our upbringing to name but a few. We may only read about negative aspects of mental health and automatically we have a negative opinion and anyone with that illness is different.

A study completed in 2015 by Time to Change showed that people’s values and beliefs are changing slowly, however there is still a lot of work to be done. We recent times we’ve seen sports stars, celebrities and even politicians come out to the public and state they have a mental health issue. This has helped massively, as the general public are taking note especially when their favourite actress or footballer admits they have a problem.

It’s a huge matter which needs to be discussed more openly. If you’re looking for help and advice on understanding mental health, we advise you heading over to our YouTube channel and listening to our podcast with Leeds Mind – https://youtu.be/rhLcdyd-Lss.

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