Stigma of mental illness as bad as the illness itself, survey reveals
One in ten people say they face discrimination every day as a result of their mental health problems, a survey has revealed.
The anti-stigma programme Time to Change released the results of its survey of over 5,000 people with mental health problems on the same day that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made a public announcement addressing the stigma and discrimination that people with mental health problems face.
Ahead of the conference on 20 January, the deputy prime minister said there remains “too much prejudice, too much discrimination” around the issue of mental health.
The Time to Change programme, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, found that 58 per cent of the people surveyed said stigma and discrimination was as bad or worse than the illness itself.
Other findings from the survey include:
28 per cent of respondents waited for more than a year to tell their family about their mental health problem;
22 per cent waited more than a year to talk to their GP about their mental health problem; and
61 per cent of people have experienced stigma and discrimination from friends and in their social life.
The survey also revealed that public attitudes towards mental health have started to improve, with 61 per cent of people saying that they now find it easier to talk about their mental illness compared to previous years, and 34% reported that when they did finally tell someone the reaction was better than they expected.
The programme is leading up to ‘Time to Talk Day’, which takes place on 6 February. The campaign is working with employers and supporters to generate a million conversations on the day — at work, in schools, in churches or at home — to ensure that the message is being heard by all communities and all ages.
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