Despite supportive policy within Scotland, the experience of people with mental health issues in our communities remains poor. Mental health-related stigma and discrimination does not only occur within health and social care, but also within financial inclusion, employability, and education. This is in the context of the social determinants of health and equality issues predominantly amongst those with protected characteristics.
In Scotland, 35% of people have said that they, or someone close to them, have experienced stigma and discrimination due to their mental health. In addition, 1 in 3 young people in every classroom will experience a mental health problem, and 3 in 4 say that they fear the reaction of their friends.
The impact of stigma and discrimination can be wide-ranging, including making someone’s mental health problems worse and stopping them from getting support. Recently, the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of our communities has raised awareness of these issues, and provided momentum for innovative action.
To find out more about stigma and discrimination, you can access our Healthy Minds awareness-raising resource on the topic here.