People can be discriminated against or experience stigma due to their mental health, age, disability, sexuality, race, and more (1). Discrimination can be direct (prejudice, harassment) or indirect (deprivation, exclusion) (2).
Discrimination and stigma towards certain groups, such as ethnic minority populations, LGBTQ+ people and disabled people, can contribute to why they experience increased mental health conditions and act as barriers to accessing mental health services (2,3). Experiencing multiple forms of discrimination has been linked to a higher risk of depression (4).
Discrimination and stigma towards mental health are also risk factors for mental health and have been associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms as well as delays in help-seeking (5,6).
1. Equality Act 2010 [Internet]. Crown; 2010. Available from: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
2. Mind. Our communities, Our Mental Health, Commissioning for better public mental health. London; 2015.
3. Mitchell J, Teuton J. What Research Matters for Mental Health Policy in Scotland. 2015 Dec.
4. Vargas SM, Huey SJ, Miranda J, Sylvanna X, Vargas M. A Critical Review of Current Evidence on Multiple Types of Discrimination and Mental Health American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Behav Heal Soc Justice [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 22];90(3):374–90. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ort0000441374
5. Markowitz FE. The Effects of Stigma on the Psychological Well-Being and Life Satisfaction of Persons with Mental Illness. J Health Soc Behav. 1998;39(4):335–47.
6. Barney LJ, Griffiths KM, Jorm AF, Christensen H. Stigma about Depression and its Impact on Help-Seeking Intentions. Aust New Zeal J Psychiatry [Internet]. 2006 Jan [cited 2021 Feb 16];40(1):51–4. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16403038/