Stigma is the negative stereotype of mental illness and discrimination is the behavior that results from this stereotype. People living with mental illness, as well as their families and friends, are faced with multiple, intersecting levels of discrimination.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association stigma is a reality for many people with a mental illness, and one of their greatest barriers to ‘a complete and satisfying life’.
Stigma reduction is critical to mental health promotion and effective management of mental health conditions. Research findings suggest that stigma interventions for immigrant men and boys in Canada must be sensitive to intersecting determinants such as racialization, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, education and length in Canada, and they must be implemented at multiple levels to reduce the burden of stigma, promote mental health, prevent mental illness, and reduce barriers for seeking help.