A stigma is a stain, a mark and a blemish. People with mental illness may face stigma, they may be treated as different, as if they are somehow less than other people. It occurs whenever there are negative opinions, judgments , or stereotypes about anyone with any form of mental illness. WHO, reported that an estimate 25% of the worldwide population is affected by mental disorder at some time during their lives. This mental health issue is believed to contribute to 12% of the worldwide burden of disease and is projected to increase to 15% by the year 2020. If any individual have had mental illness, finding a way to deal with stigma is important as it may lead people with mental illness to be discriminated against and miss out on work or bullied.
Stigma exist because societal and cultural perceptions of people have negative attitude and belief towards it. It affect people with mental illness in a way they may be treated differently and excluded from many things in the society, which can affect their self- esteem, also lead them to not seek treatment, to withdraw from society, fewer opportunities to work, poor social support to indulge in substance abuse, poor quality of life and suicide. Its time to change and understand the mental illness problems which have a devastating impact on peoples lives.
Now a days, mass media has an important role to play in perception of society about mental illness. If all of us promote and encourage people to take help for mental illness from the available resources, overall outlook of the one’s life can be different.