What is Stigma?
These key facts and statistics about mental health problems can help to challenge the myths that can contribute to the stigma that many people still face.
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1 in 8 people believe that as soon as a person shows signs of mental illness they should be hospitalised.
1 in 8 people think that there is something about people with mental illness that makes it easy to tell them from normal people.
1 in 10 people consider that one of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and willpower.
1 in 10 people believe that locating mental health facilities in a residential area downgrades the neighbourhood.
1 in 10 people agree that anyone with a history of mental problems should be excluded from taking public office.
1 in 12 people consider that people with mental illness should not be given any responsibility.
1 in 12 people believe that a women would be foolish to marry a man who has suffered from mental illness, even though he seems fully recovered.
1 in 12 people think it is frightening to think of people with mental problems living in residential neighbourhoods.
1 in 16 people would not want to live next door to someone who has been mentally ill.
The survey uses internationally recognised definitions and scales for stigma in respect of attitudes, knowledge and behaviour.
The 2018 Big Mental Health Survey found that 82% of respondents in Wales reported experiencing discrimination in at least one area of life (family, as a parent, friendships/relationships, social life, day-to-day life, in education or training, employment, getting help for physical or mental health, in public, online).
1 in 4 people have a mental health problem. (Office for National Statistics, Psychiatric Morbidity, 2007)
1 in 6 people report experiencing at least one common mental health problem (such as stress, anxiety or depression) in any given week. (Office for National Statistics, Psychiatric Morbidity, 2014)
The overall cost of mental health problems in Wales is an estimated £7.2 billion a year in loss of output, healthcare bills and social benefits. (Mental Health Research Network (2009)
Each year in Wales between 300 and 350 people die from suicide, three times the number killed in road accidents (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, 2015-2020).
In Wales, 1 in 5 people feel uncomfortable talking to their friend or family about a mental health diagnosis. (Public Attitudes to Mental Illness in Wales, 2019)
The 2016-2017 National Survey for Wales found that:
• People living in more deprived areas have lower levels of wellbeing
• Adults who are employed have higher levels of wellbeing compared to people who are unemployed or economically inactive
• As loneliness scores increase, wellbeing scores decrease
• Home owners have higher levels of wellbeing compared to people living in private rented or social housing
• Wellbeing scores were higher for people with healthy lifestyles
(Welsh Government 2017)
The Welsh Health Survey (2016) found that in the least deprived areas, 8% of adults were being treated for a mental health problem compared to 20% of adults in the most deprived areas. (Welsh Government National Survey for Wales 2017)
Self-harm is a significant problem in Wales, as a result there are 5,500 emergency admissions to hospital per year. (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, 2015-2020)
Depression is one of the leading causes of health problems in the world: experienced globally by more than 300 million people of all ages. (World Health Organization, 2017)
Bipolar is experienced by approximately 60 million people worldwide. (World Health Organization 2018)
By 2020 mental ill health related problems will be second to heart disease as the leading contributor to the global burden of disease (World Health Organization)
Schizophrenia is experienced by approximately 23 million people worldwide. (World Health Organization 2018)
Only 29% of men say they know someone with a mental illness compared with 40% of women. (Public Attitudes to Mental Illness in Wales, 2019)
Men are less comfortable discussing their mental health with a friend or family – 59% of men compared with 68% of women. (Public Attitudes to Mental Illness in Wales, 2019)
Men are less likely than women to know how to advise a friend with a mental health problem – 55% compared with 70% of women. (Public Attitudes to Mental Illness in Wales, 2019)
Men are less likely than women to go to the GP for help if they felt they had a mental health problem - 75% of men, 84% of women. (Public Attitudes to Mental Illness in Wales, 2019)
Men are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than women. (Talk to Me 2, Suicide and Self Harm Prevention Strategy for Wales 2015-2020)
One reason that men are more likely to complete suicide may be because they are less likely than women to ask for help or talk about depressive or suicidal feelings.(Men, Suicide and Society, Samaritans Research Report, 2012)
Only 55% of men who reported feeling very depressed said they talked to someone about it. (CALM, Masculinity Audit, 2016)
In Wales, 2 in 5 feel uncomfortable talking to an employer about a mental health diagnosis. (Public Attitudes to Mental Illness in Wales, 2019)
Half (48%) of all employees surveyed have experienced a mental health problem in their current job. Only half of these people have talked to their employer about their mental health problem. (Mind, 2018)
60% of UK employees have experienced a mental health issue due to work, or where work was a contributing factor. (Business in the Community, Mental Health at Work report, 2017)
Stress, anxiety and depression are the biggest cause of sickness absence in our society causing 15.8 million days of absence in the UK in 2016 (Office for National Statistics, Sickness Absence in the Labour Market, 2016)
Mental ill health costs UK employers an estimated £35 billion a year. (Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health at Work: The Business Costs Ten Years On, 2017)
You can help us create a society where mental health problems are not hidden in shame and secrecy.Find out more
1 in 4 of us will be affected by mental health in our lives, so it's important to be able to talk about it.Find out more
As the future generation, young people have the power to change attitudes around mental health.Find out more