How to tackle stigma and discrimination

How to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination

Stigma and discrimination can have a big impact on young people.  If someone feels that they aren't being taken seriously or people call them names behind their backs it can have a negative impact on them, making them feel worse, making them isolated from friends and stopping them asking for help.

And – it’s not fair. All people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to receive fair treatment if they are ill or distressed.

If you see a young person in distress or even if you notice a change in the way they are behaving don’t be scared to ask them how they are feeling or if they are ok. That might be all they need to be able to share what’s happening and then start to get proper help.

"When I first found out I had mental health problems I told few of my close friends and somehow it got all round my year at school. I was only 15 at the time. Half the people sort of turned round and said ‘oh, she’s lying to get attention, and she doesn’t seem mentally ill’ and the other half of the people just turned round and said ‘well she’s too dangerous to be in school, we can’t talk to her’. So either way I was quite alienated."

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