New data has revealed that public attitudes towards mental illness have improved significantly over the last decade. Although there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding this topic, the survey shows that opinions are slowly but surely changing.
In 2009 people were asked about their intended behaviour towards people with mental illness. They were then asked the same questions in 2014 and it was found that:
• There has been a 7% increase in the number of people who are willing to work with someone with a mental health problem (69% to 76%)
• There has been a 6% rise in willingness to continue a relationship with a friend who has a mental health problem (82% to 88%)
• 5% more people will live nearby to someone with a mental health condition (72% to 77%)
• There has also been a 5% increase in the number of people who are willing to live with someone who has a mental health problem (57% to 62%)
The survey also revealed that people are becoming more sympathetic towards those who are suffering with mental illness. 79% of those questioned said that people have been the subject or ridicule for too long and only 13% still believe that anyone with a history of mental illness should be excluded from public office.
62% of people agree that people with a mental illness are far less of a danger than most people suppose and 83% say that nobody has a right to exclude sufferers from their neighbourhood.
Although these figures are a definite step in the right direction, unfortunately there are still people who stereotype those who have suffered with mental illness. Only 28% of those surveyed said that a woman can be trusted as a babysitter if she has ever been a patient in a mental hospital, nearly one in 10 adults in the UK think that people with mental health problems shouldn’t have the same rights to a job as everyone else and nearly half of people say that they still feel uncomfortable talking to their employer about these issues.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with a mental health disorder, please feel free to visit our Treatment Programmes page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us today.