“60% of people with a mental health problem or illness won’t seek help for fear of being labelled.”

Mental Health Commission of Canada, retrieved 2014

Stigma is the negative stereotype that leads some people to think of others as unacceptably different based on their identity and certain characteristics they possess, and to treat them in negative, disrespectful, limiting and harmful ways.

For people living with mental health disorders, the experience of stigma and discrimination can be one of the greatest barriers to being able to lead a full and satisfying life.

Evidence shows that the stigma associated with mental disorders can have devastating personal and social consequences.

  • Loss of self-esteem, feelings of being devalued.
  • Difficulties making friends and having long-term relationships.
  • Problems obtaining employment and finding housing.
  • Problems participating in social activities.
  • Delays in seeking treatment and receiving appropriate medical care.
  • Financial stress and economic hardship.
  • Life expectancy as a result of these multiple stressors.

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