If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › Stigma: The Facts

Stigma: The Facts

What is stigma?

  • Stigma (or prejudice) describes a negative and unfavourable attitude.
  • Stigma causes those living with a mental illness to be labelled, stereotyped, and feared.

What is discrimination?

  • Discrimination is the action that results from stigma.
  • It is how you treat those living with mental health issues because of how you think about them.

Why does it matter?

  • Many people living with mental illness say the stigma is worse than the illness itself.
  • Stigma is seen as one of the key barriers preventing people from seeking help.
  • Seven million Canadians will need help for mental health concerns this year alone.
  • Many will not get it because of the stigma attached to the illness.
  • Every single Canadian is affected by mental health issues – either directly with firsthand experience, or indirectly in someone they know.
  • Every day, 500,000 Canadians do not go to work due to psychiatric reasons.
  • Mental illness costs the Canadian economy an estimated $33 to $50 billion per year in lost productivity.

Feedback Form

Hey, thanks for checking out this resource. After you’ve seen it, we’d love to learn a bit more about your interests and how you found us. Was the information what you looking for? Was it helpful? We’ll use any feedback you provide to further improve what we do. In appreciation, you’ll be automatically entered in a contest where you could win a cash prize or gift certificate. *


  • Completion of the form is voluntary.
  • The information collected by the Mental Health Commission of Canada will only be used for the purpose described above.
Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Serious impact from COVID-19 on mental health and substance use continues, especially among youth A new report from the series of Leger polls commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of...

Physical chronic diseases often co-occur with mental health problems and illnesses. To further explore this relationship, we have developed several resources in collaboration with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, including a scoping...

Watch our discussion of the recent policy brief about the impact of the pandemic on families and early childhood mental health with co-author and co-host: the Canadian Paediatric Society. In...