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 › Structural Stigma Brochure

Structural Stigma Brochure

Structural Stigma prevents persons living with mental health problems and illnesses and/or lived and living experience of substance use from receiving accessible, person-centred, high-quality health care.

Stigma is a key barrier to prevention, treatment, and recovery for people with lived and living experience.

STIGMA’S multiple levels

  • Individual: Includes shame, fear of seeking help, and feeling less worthy.
  • Interpersonal: Endorsing negative stereotypes or prejudicial ideas, and speaking or acting in discriminatory ways.
  • Structural: Located in formal and informal rules, policies, procedures, laws and cultural norms.
  • Intersectional: The many ways stigma related to mental illness and substance use intersects with other forms of oppression (e.g., racism, transphobia, and colonization).

STRUCTURAL STIGMA in health care

Structural Stigma refers to the accumulated activities in health-care organizations that deliberately or inadvertently create and maintain social inequities for persons who are living with mental health problems and illnesses and/or lived and living experience of substance use.

SOLUTIONS

Addressing structural stigma in health-care settings requires a combination of approaches, such as

  • enhancing the meaningful involvement of people with lived and living experience
  • building a supportive and stigma-free workplace culture
  • adopting integrated, recovery oriented, holistic, accessible, client-centred models of care
  • distributing resources for mental health and substance use care on par with physical health
  • establishing mechanisms to monitor structural stigma

The Mental Health Commission of Canada assists in developing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to reduce structural stigma within health-care organizations.

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.

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.

SHARE THIS PAGE

RELATED

Mental health affects everyone, including health-care workers. This video tells the story of an individual who finds access to quality mental health care services — but only after an overwhelming...

Hear from health-care experts offering their insights on the stigma-free and inclusive dimension of the Quality Mental Health Care Framework, focusing on the crucial concept of structural stigma. Our expert...

The mental health and substance use health (MHSUH) impacts of COVID-19 and the overdose crisis have increased the gap between what the population needs and what the service system can...