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Stigma is when we as a society apply negative characteristics to a group of people.

Professor Graham Thornicroft describes stigma as a problem with knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour. Stigma negatively influences the way we think, feel and act towards people with mental health conditions.


Stigma can impact all aspects of our lives, and the stigma around mental health has the power to worsen the mental health of individuals and communities. Stigma prevents people from seeking help, and it also stops others from offering support. Moreover, the stigma of mental health can result in the discrimination of those experiencing mental ill-health. On a broader level, the stigma around mental health means that we, as a society, don’t value mental health in the same way we do physical health. Because of this, we may not prioritise mental health on an individual, community, or policy level.

Thornicroft, G., Rose, D., Kassam, A., & Sartorius, N. (2007). Stigma: Ignorance, prejudice or discrimination? British Journal of Psychiatry, 190(3), 192–193.

Stigma in Hong Kong


would not be willing to work with someone with a mental health problem.

(Mind HK, 2021)


Stigma in Hong Kong


of respondents with a diagnosed mental illness did not disclose their struggles to anyone due to fear of being discriminated against.

(Mind HK, 2021)

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Impact of stigma

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