A diagnosis doesn't make a person

Focus areas

  • Most mental health problems begin when people are still in their youth. Almost eight percent of young people between the age of 15 and 25 have or have had a mental illness. This means that three students in each classroom deal with mental illness or serious mental difficulties.

  • Mental illness frequently makes people leave the labour market or prevents them from entering it. The problem can be partially explained by the prejudice, taboos and ignorance faced by people with mental illness.

  • When people with mental illness meet prejudice and exclusion in social networks, educational institutions, the labour market and leisure time activities, they may feel diminished, insecure and devalued. Probably, the symptoms caused by their mental illness will get worse.

  • Research shows that staff members within the health sector - the psychiatric sector included - do not differ from the general population when it comes to stigmatisation of people with mental illness and their relatives.

  • Lack of knowledge is a direct cause of prejudice and the media has an important role in changing people’s perceptions about mental illnesses. Sensationalist and inaccurate media reports can have a negative effect on the society’s attitudes towards people with mental illnesses and contribute to maintain a stigmatizing portrayal.