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A new survey reveals that half of the British population believe it is still a great shame to suffer from mental illness

Mental health is a recurring topic in our daily lives. Nowadays, talking about mental health illnesses, the importance of therapy or how to focus on this aspect, for example in the workplace, is very popular.
However, despite the progress made over the years to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, the latest research shows that 51% of people in the UK still feel ashamed of having a mental illness.

These data show that more than half of British adults believe that there is a lot or a fair amount of shame associated with depression (48%), schizophrenia (56%) and bipolar disorder (51%).
Not only that, 12% believe that people with mental illness should be ashamed of their mental health problem and around one in five people believe that ‘sociopath’ (22%), ‘totally OCD’ (22%) and ‘a bit crazy’ (20%) are acceptable everyday terms.

The danger of continuing the taboo

These data are very alarming, as mental health problems are a reality in the UK: 1 in 4 people will experience some form of mental health problem each year in England and 1 in 6 people say they have experienced a common mental health problem.

It is important to remember that suffering from mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Every day more and more people suffer from this type of problem to a greater or lesser extent. It is important to stress that professional help is essential to treat these ailments. Just as we go to the doctor if we have physical pain, we should also do so if we have mental and emotional problems.

Stigmas and prejudices towards mental health have been the main reasons why these types of illnesses have been silenced and therefore unknown and overestimated for a long time. The first step to solve a problem is to recognise it, which is why we at Sisters Hospitallers encourage you to ask for help if you have any symptoms and not to feel ashamed about it. No one should ever feel ashamed of not feeling well or being ill.