World Mental Health Day: Is There Still a Social Stigma Attached To Mental Health Issues?

Today, Oct. 10, 2017, marks World Mental Health Day. Although we have made moved great lengths towards demolishing it, there is still a huge social stigma attached to mental health, and people with mental illnesses still face discrimination in their day-to-day lives. But mental health problems are more common than the media and our society would lead you to believe:

  • Around one in four people experience mental health issues in their lifetime.
  • And one in every ten school-aged children experiences mental health problems.
  • 450 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with a mental illness.
  • But most people suffering from mental illness fully recover or adapt to live with and manage their illness.

Peoples problems are made worse by the stigma attached to mental illness and the can face discrimination from friends family, teachers and from society as a whole. Discrimination against people with mental health issues can vary, it can be someone ignoring someone else’s mental illness and forcing them to do something their not comfortable doing or in extreme cases people with mental illnesses have been killed. Nine out of ten people suffering from a mental illness say they have faced some kind of discrimination, and the stigma and discrimination can worsen someone’s mental illness.

The media often helps to enforce the stigma, by linking mental illness to violence, or portray mentally ill people as dangerous, criminals, or demonize their mental illness, which is not the case. Time to Change is an organisation that is working towards demolishing the stigma against mental health and encouraging people to talk about it, and the Equality Act of 2010 has made it illegal to discriminate against someone with a mental illness in work, education and access to premises.

#WorldMentalHealthDay has also been trending all day with people supporting and speaking out about mental health, here are some of the tweets:

https://twitter.com/stars_shards/status/914524818548166656

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