People with mental health problems say that the social stigma attached to mental ill health and the discrimination they experience can make their difficulties worse and make it harder to recover.
Mental illness is common. It affects thousands of people in the UK, and their friends, families, work colleagues and society in general.
- one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
- around one in ten children experience mental health problems.
- depression affects around one in 12 of the whole population.
- rates of self harm in the UK are the highest in Europe at 400 per 100,000.
- 450 million people world wide have a mental health problem.
Most people who experience mental health problems recover fully, or are able to live with and manage them, especially if they get help early on.
But even though so many people are affected, there is a strong social stigma attached to mental ill health and people with mental health problems can experience discrimination in all aspects of their lives.
Many people’s problems are made worse by the stigma and discrimination they experience from society, but also from families, friends and employers.
Nearly nine out of ten people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives.
We know that people with mental health problems are amongst the least likely of any group with a long term health condition or disability to:
- find work
- be in a steady, long term relationship
- live in decent housing
- be socially included in mainstream society.