Stigma of mental illness is (still) a barrier to care and help-seeking


Imagine the following scenario: you have been feeling really down for quite a while and think the time has come to get some help. You book an appointment with your doctor and tell her how you’re feeling. She doesn’t make eye contact, she thrusts a leaflet and a prescription at you and tells you to [read the full story...]

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Crisis, what crisis? EU-wide data shows negative impacts of the recession on people with mental health problems


The effects of the global stock market crash of 2008 have not just been economic. The health and social consequences of the financial crisis are becoming clearer over time and were anticipated by public health academics early on. Based on a 30 year review of EU data on how economic changes affect mortality, in 2009 [read the full story...]

Cognitive therapy is a non-stigmatising intervention for people at risk of psychosis


Criteria to identify subgroups experiencing an at-risk mental state (ARMS) have been developed and are widely adopted internationally, but this has fueled recent debates about unintended stigmatising consequences of identifying and providing treatment to people at risk of psychosis. While the Early Detection and Intervention Evaluation 2 (EDIE-2) trial has shown that cognitive therapy (CT) [read the full story...]

UK survey finds that social firms may help with vocational recovery for people with mental illness


In the UK it is a shocking statistic that around 80-90% of people with severe mental illness are not in work.  Unemployment impacts negatively not only on the individual, but is also costly to the government. Employment is now embedded in key mental health policy as a central part of recovery. However, despite this, and [read the full story...]

We ignore the rise of suicide in people with mental illness


Despite public campaigns to combat stigma around mental illness, people with mental health problems still face ongoing discrimination. And while some sections of the media focus on mental illness in cases of violence, a rise in the number of people who are more of a risk to themselves goes unnoticed. We still find it difficult [read the full story...]

Fighting mental illness stigma in the classroom

Classroom chairs stacked on tables

Stigma can be described as a sign of disgrace setting a person apart from others. Erving Goffman, defined stigma as “the process by which the actions of others spoils normal identity.” For those with mental illness the stigma experienced can result in a lack of funding for services, difficulty gaining employment, a mortgage or holiday [read the full story...]

New report about supporting people with schizophrenia back into the labour market

Successful interview

Back in November 2012, the Schizophrenia Commission reported that people with schizophrenia are being badly let down by the health and social care system and by the employment market. The final report of the commission (I blogged about it here) concluded that people with schizophrenia face a lifespan 15-20 years shorter than the general population and [read the full story...]

Improving mental health literacy does not lead to more help-seeking behaviour, according to new review


The stigma and shame associated with mental illness can prevent people from seeking help. This can lead to much poorer outcomes as patients may often miss out on vital treatment early on in their illness. A number of theories have been put forward to explain why certain groups (e.g. young people, men, refugees) seem less [read the full story...]

Depression, discrimination, stigma: new cross-sectional survey in The Lancet


A new cross-sectional survey published in The Lancet has revealed some unsurprising but nonetheless sobering facts about how people with depression are stigmatised. The research team, funded by money from the European Commission, interviewed 1,082 people with depression from 35 countries across the world. They used the discrimination and stigma scale (version 12; DISC-12) to [read the full story...]

Guest blog: Antidepressants and the Long Shadow of Stigma


Following the media coverage of the NHS statistics published last week that reported a large rise in antidepressant prescribing, Martin Brunet (a GP from Surrey and author of the excellent Binscombe Doctor Blog) has written an opinion piece that explores the positive and negative aspects of this complex story: “Are GPs prescribing antidepressants too readily?” [read the full story...]