Why Does Mental Illness Stigma Exist When 1 in 5 Have One?

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

45.9 Million Americans Suffered From Mental Illness Last Year

This means that ‎20 percent of American adults suffered from a mental illness. That's 1 in 5. This comes from a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. You can read the report details here.

To me, the 1 in 5 number is important because that means there's a good chance that an overwhelming majority of Americans know someone with a mental illness. And I believe most people are good, compassionate people. They don't want to see someone they love, care about or just know of, suffer with any illness.

This leads me to a question that Amanda Collins, our social media manager, posted on the HealthyPlace Facebook page:

"When I ponder that statistic, I think with that many people living with a mental illness and understanding what it's like, how come there's so much stigma?"

A response from Rethink Child and Adolescent Mental Health to that question really hit home with me:

"Sadly, it's the other s-word, shame. Because of the stigma, people are afraid to speak up. Folks need to remember that stigma says more about the person offering it than about the person its aimed at."

I'd like to know if you think that's true. Email me. Next week, I'll share some of your responses in the newsletter.

Related Stories:

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Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Making Plans with Bipolar Disorder
  2. Planning to Leave An Abusive Relationship
  3. Natural Therapies and Supplements For Anxiety Disorders

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


Mental Health Experiences

Share your thoughts/experiences with any mental health subject, or respond to other people's audio posts, by calling our toll-free number (1-888-883-8045).

You can listen to what other people are saying by clicking on the gray title bars inside the widgets located on the "Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences" homepage, the HealthyPlace homepage, and the HealthyPlace Support Network homepage.

If you have any questions, write us at: info AT


From HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

Your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.

How Agoraphobia Affects My Life

Agoraphobia is a debilitating anxiety disorder which, without treatment, continually restricts and constricts a person's social engagement. We met Robert Brumbelow through our HealthyPlace Google+ page. Watch our interview with him on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show. He talks about the effects of agoraphobia on his relationships and life and the lack of understanding from family and friends.

If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2012, March 12). Why Does Mental Illness Stigma Exist When 1 in 5 Have One?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 14 from

Last Updated: September 4, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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