Mental ill health can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere. One in 10 children live with mental distress and 50% of all mental illnesses are established by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 25. These statistics are being reviewed in light of the pandemic which we know has impacted the mental wellbeing of many children, young people and adults.

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives
In the workplace, one in six experience a mental health problem
In higher education, one in five experience a mental health problem

As you have physical ill health, so you can have mental ill health. There are many diagnoses in mental health, for example, depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia, psychosis and post-natal depression. Each illness, as with physical illness, has its own symptoms and each person might experience the illness differently.

With our main aim to challenge and reduce the mental health stigma and discrimination people who live with mental health issues – and often their carers – face, we want to find out more about the type of stigma people experience; where, when and who. We have developed training to help people deal with stigma but also to look at some ways they might help people and organisations see the impact they have on someone through words, behaviour, culture and policy.

Talking openly is the key to better understanding and changing people’s perceptions, unconscious (or conscious) bias and attitudes.

A short survey to see where people were experiencing stigma was undertaken in 2020. The results showed the following percentage of people who reported they had been subject to mental health stigma and discrimination:

Job Centre
Police and Emergency Services
Benefits & Housing
Acute Hospitals
Community Mental Health Services
GP Practice
Workplace
Social Circles

A new more in-depth survey will be published shortly. Later in the year we will be inviting people to join focus groups to discuss mental health stigma and how we can all do something to reduce it.