EN AF OS kampagne på Skanderborg Festival


ONE OF US is working to change the way we all think and act about (around) mental illness. Our purpose is to end stigma related to mental illness. Many people still don`t consider mental illness relevant to them. They don`t believe mental illness is likely to affect them or people they know. But mental illness and mental health problems in general can affect anyone

Mental illness affects almost everyone
Statistically, 1 in 5 Danes will experience a mental health problem in any given year. In Denmark, it is estimated that approximately 500.000 people are affected by mental illness and many among them have more than one diagnosis. Experiencing mental illness is for most people temporary and they will get well again. For others mental illness is recurrent or long lasting. No matter what, they are all one of us.
Having a mental illness is hard enough, without having to deal with the shame and isolation that aften comes with it due to stigma and discrimination. Many of us don’t know enough about mental illness, which is one of the reasons why people with mental illness and mental health problems in general face many prejudices. That is why our work is so important. No one should have to fear being socially stigmatized because of mental health problems. Your attitude to mental illness could change someone’s life. Knowledge and good advice about how to meet people with mental illness can change this behavior and that is exactly what ONE OF US is about.

What does stigma mean?
The word stigma means a mark of discrase or disapproval that sets a person apart from others. When a person is labelled by their illness they are no longer seen as an individual but as part of a stereotyped group. Labelling someone because of mental illness may have severe consequences. The pain of being set apart from others and therefore not being part of society makes a person more vulnerable and the illness becomes even harder to endure. Negative attitudes and beliefs towards this group creates prejudice which leads to negative actions and discrimination. This can hinder the pursuit of a meaningful life and inhibit people from seeking treatment in time. This is costly, for the individual and for society.

Our purpose
The purpose of ONE OF US is to reduce stigma related to mental illness in Denmark. Our vision is a society with no more discrimination and exclusion of people who have or have had a mental illness. “No more silence, doubt and taboo about (around) mental illness” summarizes our determination. 

The Danish anti-stigma program ONE OF US
The Danish anti-stigma program ONE OF US is a nationwide program including regional and local activities. The program focuses on five main themes:

The youth | The labour marketService users and relativesStaff in health and social services | The media and the public

ONE OF US was officially launched in 2011 and is currently funded until 2024.

Activities and strategies
The program encompasses national, regional and local activities. 

Social contact
The program facilitates contact and an open dialogue between people with lived experience of mental illness and the many different target groups within the five target areas. There is strong evidence for this as an effective anti-stigma method known as social contact.
Social contact is promoted in different ways through presentations in many different settings, training and information events, festivals, distribution of awareness materials, happenings and creative activities. 

ONE OF US encourages a destigmatising dialogue through social media and, to boost empathy and identification, works with numerous media such as TV, radio and films. ONE OF US also conducts surveys in order to obtain new and relevant data related to the target areas.

ONE OF US ambassadors are people with lived experience of mental illness and are at the center of all the anti-stigma activities as they are key to the practice of social contact. ONE OF US’ ambassadors are recruited among the volunteers who have signed up with ONE OF US. It is vital they are well on their way in their recovery process or are in a good place in their lives. They are introduced to the program and receive communication training. In their training, they learn how to structure their personal stories, adapt them to different audiences, deal with the media and protect personal boundaries. They are also prepared to maintain their integrity in the process of disclosing their illness. 

International network
ONE OF US is part of The Global Anti-Stigma Alliance (GASA), an international network of national campaigns against stigma. The aim of the network is for the members to share knowledge, evidence, materials and best practices.

In September 2017, more than 350 people representing 32 countries attended the 8th International Stigma Conference titled “Overcoming Barriers in Minds and Society” in Copenhagen and hosted by ONE OF US.

Find presentations, films and other material from the conference here:


The ONE OF US Organisation

ONE OF US was formed in 2010 by a wide range of public and private organisation in the field of mental health: The Danish Health Authority, TrygFonden, Danish Regions, the five regions, The Danish Mental Health Fund, The National Board of Social Services, The Danish Mental Health Network, KL and The Danish Committee for Health Education.

1. August 2021 ONE OF US went through an organisational change and integrated in the Danish Health Authority and the partnership became an advisory group.

The regional PsykInfo’s (Regional Psychiatric Information Center) work closely together with ONE OF US in The Danish Health Authority and manage the regional coordination groups. The PsykInfo’s plan and carry out regional and local ONE OF US activities and are in charge of the overall support of the volunteers. 

A resource group has been formed for each of the five main themes consisting of representatives from groups of service users and their relatives, professional societies, professionals, Denmark’s regional psychiatric information centers and other relevant stakeholders.

The program is managed nationally by ONE OF US in The Danish Health Authority, Islands Brygge 67, 2300 København S.