Youth and Mental Health 101

Stigma, prejudice and discrimination


young girl being laughed at by other girls

Stigma, which can appear as prejudice or discrimination, can stop many people from seeking the support they need.1 Prejudice includes unsupported and biased opinions, whereas discrimination is the action that results from these beliefs. When people experience prejudice and discrimination, they may feel even more hopeless or ashamed.

When we feel uncomfortable with someone or their behaviour, we may treat them differently, either consciously or unconsciously. We may judge or discriminate against them based on ideas about mental illness that come from inaccurate or biased news reports, movies and TV shows. Learning about people’s experiences and about mental illness and recovery is one way to help break down these attitudes.


1. MHCC, 2018a