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Stop and Frown at every act of stigmatization

Stigma is when someone sees you in a negative way because of a particular characteristic or attribute (such as skin colour, cultural background, a disability or a mental illness). 

Stigma happens when a person defines someone by their illness or situation rather than who they are as an individual.

Stigma has made survivor recovery really difficult.

Some of the effects of stigma include:

  • feelings of shame, hopelessness and isolation
  • reluctance to ask for help or to get treatment
  • lack of understanding by family, friends or others
  • fewer opportunities for employment or social interaction
  • bullying, physical violence or harassment
  • self-doubt – the belief that you will never overcome your illness or be able to achieve what you want in life.


  1. Know the facts. Educate yourself about mental illness including substance use disorders.
  2. Be mindful of your attitudes and behaviour.
  3. Communicate wisely, do not give off an aura of judgement
  4. Educate others
  5. Focus on the positive

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