Understanding Mental Health Stigma: A Closer Look

  • November 1, 2023

Mental health stigma is a significant challenge faced by millions worldwide. It's a complicated issue with many aspects, each adding to its persistence. To truly grasp this challenge, we need to explore its different sides and see how it affects people.

Public Stigma

One part of mental health stigma is public stigma. This is when society holds negative views towards those dealing with mental health problems, leading to discrimination and exclusion. These beliefs often come from ignorance and lack of awareness about mental health. Raising awareness and encouraging understanding can help reduce public stigma.


Another aspect is self-stigma, where individuals start to believe the negative ideas society has about mental health. This can lead to feelings of shame and low self-esteem. Overcoming self-stigma means recognizing that mental health issues are just like physical health problems. Seeking help from mental health professionals is crucial in overcoming these self-imposed barriers.

Structural Stigma

Structural stigma, the third aspect, involves unfair policies in institutions that limit access to mental health services and reinforce societal biases. This includes limited access, lack of funding, and insufficient training for healthcare professionals. To fight structural stigma, we need policies that ensure everyone has equal access to mental health services. Training healthcare professionals to handle mental health issues effectively is also key.

In conclusion, mental health stigma is a complex challenge that requires a comprehensive solution. By educating, fostering understanding, and advocating for equal access to mental health services, we can create a society that supports individuals dealing with mental health challenges.