Reflective accounts

Stigma

As a nurse who has worked in mental health units in hospital and prison, I am aware that stigma is common in these settings. The words ‘mental health’ create stigma on their own.

Ignorance, fear and stereotypes reported in the media contribute to negative attitudes towards the mentally ill. Most people have little knowledge or understanding about mental illness, and their opinions are frequently factually incorrect.

Individuals with mental health problems often experience prejudice and discrimination in many aspects of their lives. Some of them observe that the stigma of the illness is often worse than the effects of the mental health problem itself. Many become isolated and are excluded from everyday activities. They are often pre-judged, find it difficult to get a job and keep it, and have difficulty forming relationships and friendships, and maintaining them.

Picture credit: SPL

It is difficult to study to gain a qualification when unwell. There is a general reluctance among employers to employ people who have a disability, particularly those with a mental health condition. It is more difficult for a person with a

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