World health organization

10 facts on mental health

A mental health patient chained to a bench
Sylvester Kantontoka

Fact 6

Stigma and discrimination against patients and families prevent people from seeking mental health care

Misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental ill health are widespread. Despite the existence of effective treatments for mental disorders, there is a belief that they are untreatable or that people with mental disorders are difficult, not intelligent, or incapable of making decisions. This stigma can lead to abuse, rejection and isolation and exclude people from health care or support. Within the health system, people are too often treated in institutions which resemble human warehouses rather than places of healing.

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