Stigma and Discrimination
NAMI works to dispel acts of stigma and discrimination directed at people living with mental illness, whether by intent, ignorance or insensitivity. Nicknames, jokes and slurs that refer to individuals in a stigmatizing way are cruel.
Stigma dehumanizes people with mental illness, trivializes their concerns and is a significant barrier to the delivery of mental health services. Because of stigma, individuals and families are often afraid to seek help; health care providers are too often poorly trained to refer people to mental health professionals and services are inadequately funded.