The I AM WHOLE report published today in support of an NHS anti-stigma campaign being launched by UK music star Jordan Stephens (Rizzle Kicks), also shows that, of the young people who experience this stigma, more than a third say it happens at least once a week and 54% say it originates from their own friends.

Researchers spoke to more than 2,000 11 to 24-year-olds and found that 38% of those with mental health difficulties felt they were stigmatised. Of those, 56% said this stigma made them less willing to access professional support for their mental health difficulties and 70% were less likely to speak about their problems.

Stigma comes in many forms for young people, including being left out of activities (54%) and verbal abuse (36%). In addition, it also damages confidence (85%) and negatively impacts on their school performance (59%).

YMCA’s research supports the #IAMWHOLE campaign that is hoping to combat stigma and normalise mental health difficulties among young people.

  • Challenge harmful language used to describe mental health difficulties so that young people can ask for help without fear of negative labels.
  • Ask for support from friends, parents, teachers, GPs or youth workers
  • Show support by joining the #IAMWHOLE movement on social media and posting ‘circle on hand’ selfies in support of the anti-stigma message

(Source of detail: YMCA website)