Mental Health and Stigma

Mental Illness and Stigma

What is the issue?

Stigma is a major barrier preventing people from seeking help.

Many people living with a mental illness say the stigma they face is often worse than the illness itself.

Mental illness affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. It can take many forms including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

What is Stigma?

Stigma is made up of two parts: negative and unfavorable attitudes, and negative behaviours that result from those attitudes. People living with a mental illness often experience stigma through:

  • Inequality in employment, housing, educational and other opportunities which the rest of us take for granted.
  • Loss of friends and family members (the social and support network).
  • Self-stigma created when someone with a mental illness believes the negative messages.

What is the MHCC doing about it?

The Commission launched Opening Minds in 2009. It is the largest systematic effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness in Canadian history. To find out more about Opening Minds, Click Here