Stigma & Discrimination

According to statistics, one in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point of life. However, the simple fact is we all have mental health, like we all have physical health and can go through good and bad periods of both.

No one should have to experience discrimination or feel there is any stigma directed towards them due to mental ill health.

We think it’s easy for someone who has no experience with it personally, to assume that people who are depressed or experiencing thoughts of suicide are weak - but that’s wrong. They aren’t weak, they are alone in their thoughts and tired of battling it till they’ve lost their ability to think. We think it’s important to let people experiencing suicidal thoughts or any level of depression know they are not alone and give them positive energy to feed off. To show them that there is support available and there is still beauty in life, and hope for better times ahead.

Its also important to remember that no one chooses to be mentally unwell, and also a common form of stigma from the media has been that people with mental health issues are more dangerous, in most cases this is simply not true; according to national Mind:

“The most common mental health problems have no significant link to violent behaviour. The proportion of people living with a mental health problem who commit a violent crime is extremely small. There are lots of reasons someone might commit a violent crime, and factors such as drug and alcohol misuse are far more likely to be the cause of violent behaviour. But many people are still worried about talking about how they're feeling, or seeking help, because of the fear and stigma of being seen as dangerous”.

How can we deal with stigma?

Unfortunately, not everyone will understand about mental health problems, and some people could use dismissive, offensive or hurtful language and this could lead to discrimination and abuse. Behaviour of this type can be reported and you should not have to put up with it. Below are some ideas which might help:

• Show people reliable information about your diagnosis/issue, use reliable websites such as NHS or Mind
• Get more involved in your treatment, ask for help from a professional, get a second opinion or seek more guidance if you are unsure
• Contact an advocate or gain advocacy, someone who can support your choices and help make your voice heard
• Know what your rights are, legally over a wide range of situations
• Talk about and share your experiences, this could be as part of blogs, online communities and groups
• Get involved in campaigns which help to raise awareness, and promotion of mental health

We are not all built the same

Even if someone does not understand or can’t relate to people in these positions and situations, it can be a huge help just to listen, and if possible signpost someone to appropriate support.
If you suffer with your mental health or know anyone who does, remember that depression can start at any time and can happen to anyone. No one is immune to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and what triggers you may or may not be the same as what triggers someone else.

We want others who are struggling with their mental health to trust that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and to encourage themselves to face the reality of how they are feeling. Accept that it’s not anything to be ashamed of – and with the right support and guidance, mental health and wellbeing can be managed.

For support

Speak to your GP or care team for professional guidance or online Mind and NHS website also If you need support we are here to help you, please see our services and support or phone 01325 283169 or 07572 888084 email:

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