Factsheet: Stigma

This factsheet is available in a downloadable PDF here. 

Table of Contents

About Mental Health Problems

About Mental Health Problems

One of the best ways of countering stigma and encouraging people to be more open about mental health in general is through information. One in four people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Recovery rates for mental health problems are between 70% and 80%.1

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems – most people recover fully from both. Almost three quarters of people in Scotland know someone close to them who has been diagnosed with a mental health problem at some point.2 117,000 people in Scotland with mental health problems want to work but are currently unemployed.1

About Stigma

In a recent Scottish Executive survey, half of all respondents said that they would not want anybody to know if they developed a mental health problem.2 Most people in the same survey said that they thought the media portrayed people with mental health problems negatively. 41% of people with mental health problems have experienced harassment living in Scottish communities, compared with 15% of the general public.3

A 2001 study found that only 37% of employers said they would in future take on people with mental illness. This compared to the 62% who would take on physically disabled people, 78% who would employ long-term unemployed people and 88% who would appoint lone parents.4 64% of young people say that they would be embarrassed to disclose a mental health problem to a prospective employer.5

Click on the titles below to find out more:

About Stigma
Eating Disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Post-natal Depression
Personality Disorder

1. With Health in Mind: Improving mental health and wellbeing in Scotland, Scottish Public Mental Health Alliance (2002).

2. Scottish Public Attitudes Survey on Mental Health (2002) Initial findings.

3. Give us A Break Survey, NSF (2001).

4. Department for Work and Pensions, (2001).

5. Mind Out for Mental Health, (2001).

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