Stigma and discrimination can have a devastating impact on people with mental health issues. A recent comprehensive review of research revealed that self-stigma can have a negative effect on the recovery of those diagnosed with serious mental illnesses. Discrimination can take many forms, from obvious and direct comments to subtle avoidance. It is important to recognize that people with mental health issues have rights and freedoms, and that emergency situations may require more aggressive therapeutic measures.
Education is key to reducing stigma, as it provides the public with the information they need to make informed decisions about mental illness. Mental health professionals can also play an important role in promoting awareness and understanding of mental health issues. Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs towards those with mental health conditions are still common, and this can worsen symptoms and prevent people from seeking help. It is essential that resources are allocated across the health system to ensure better access to care for those with physical and mental health conditions.
Ultimately, stigma devalues both the mentally ill and the professionals and health network created to support them.