What is Stigma?

Isolation. Discrimination. Shame. Embarrassment. Often the biggest challenges people with mental illnesses face aren’t their illnesses at all. The stigma—or negative feelings, attitudes and stereotypes—that surround mental health can make getting help scary and leading a fulfilling life difficult. Stigma prevents people from seeking help. It restricts resources from being allocated. And it discourages others from lending their support.

One of the best ways to stop the stigma is to learn more about mental illness. Separating the truth from the stigma can help increase awareness, understanding and acceptance for those living with mental health challenges. Get the facts and spread the word.

“Nobody I know has a mental illness”

1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness
National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI

“People with mental health problems are bad employees”

Employers report attendance, punctuality and motivation on par with or greater than other employees
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

“Once you have a mental illness, you can never get better”

70%-90% of people have shown significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatment
National Alliance on Mental Illness/Illinois

“You’re too young to have mental health problems”

20% of youth, ages 13-18, live with a mental health condition
National Institute of Mental Health

“Mentally ill people are violent”

Only 3%-5% of violent acts are attributed to people with serious mental illness
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

“If you’re mentally ill, you belong in a mental hospital”

2/3 of people with a mental illness live in their community and lead productive lives
National Alliance on Mental Illness/New Hampshire