A first-of-its kind study has highlighted the severity of stigma and discrimination faced by people with experience of severe and enduring mental illness in Scotland.
The Scottish Mental Illness Stigma Study found that people are holding back from events and activities which contribute to happiness. These include withdrawing from friendships, not pursuing employment opportunities, and even stopping themselves from getting medical assistance when feeling unwell.
Key findings in the study include:
- 92% of participants say that they have experienced stigma in relationships with family and friends in the last year.
- 53% said they respected themselves less because they will not recover or get better.
- Of those who had faced stigma in relationships, 82% expected others would not want to be their friend due to their mental illness.
- 77% said they had been treated unfairly at work.
- Of those who had faced stigma in mental healthcare services, 58% had avoided calling an ambulance or attending A&E in relation for emergency mental healthcare.
People with mental illness are at a disadvantage – and for the most part, this stigma is avoidable.
This ground-breaking study was a collaborative project between The Mental Health Foundation Scotland, See Me, Glasgow Caledonian University, and The Lines Between.
Members of Voices of Experience (VOX) Scotland played a key role in shaping this research. Three members of our Board of Directors sat on the Lived Experience Working Group and our Manager Wendy sat on the Research Advisory group. Volunteers from VOX Scotland also contributed to the development, refinement and testing of the study survey.
To read the full report, please visit the See Me site here.
To read an overview of the research, please visit the See Me site here.