April 2017 \ Arts & Entertainment \ MIND AND BODY
The Stigma of Mental Illness

Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that is thought to be,

By Dr Walid Sarhan F.R.C. Psych

What can we do to stop stigma and discrimination? 

Use the STOP criteria to recognize attitudes and actions that support the stigma of mental health conditions. It is easy; just ask yourself if what you hear:

  • Stereotypes people with mental health conditions (that is, assumes they are all alike rather than individuals)?
  • Trivializes or belittles people with mental health conditions and/or the condition itself?
  • Offends people with mental health conditions, by insulting them?
  •  Patronizes people with mental health conditions, by treating them as if they were not as good as other people? 

If STOP criteria can be spread from schools, universities, workplace and clubs as well as the media, it will help millions of patients, families and societies at large worldwide. 

—Walid Sarhan F.R.C. Psych WPA Zonal Representative of the Middle East