What is mental illness?

What can be done about the stigma of mental illness?

Page last updated: May 2007

  • Think about mental illnesses like any other illness or health condition and bring them into the open.
  • Talk about mental illness openly with everyone you meet - it is surprising how many people are affected by mental illness, particularly the highly prevalent disorders of depression and anxiety.
  • Educate the community to overcome negative stereotypes based on misconceptions.
  • Promote mental health and healthy attitudes through childhood and adult life.
  • Support the development of resilience: learn ways to deal with stress in relationships, situations, and events.
  • Assist friends and family with a mental illness to obtain care and treatment as early as possible.
  • Ensure high quality support and treatment services are provided to people with mental illness to promote recovery.
  • Actively support the families and carers of people who have mental illness, who also experience the confusion, distress, and stigma that can accompany mental illness.
  • Address discrimination in every area of life, including employment, education, and the provision of goods, services, and facilities.
  • Encourage research into mental illness to assist understanding of how these illnesses affect people and can be prevented and/or effectively treated.