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Discrimination experienced by 79 per cent of people with depression

The survey showed 34 per cent believe they had been avoided or shunned because of their mental health problems.

OVER THREE QUARTERS of people with depression report experiencing some kind of discrimination.

The study also showed 34 per cent believe they had been avoided or shunned because of their mental health problems. Anticipated discrimination prevented over a third from having a close personal relationship, and 25 per cent of those surveyed did not apply for a job at some point because they thought they would be discriminated against.

Around 71 per cent actively wished to conceal their depression from other people, which has led to concerns that people with depression might not seek help because of fears of discrimination, doing so would more than likely make their condition become chronic.

However, the researchers also found that people who anticipated discrimination did not necessarily find that their experiences confirmed this.

Kahlil Thompson-Coyle, campaign manager with See Change, a programme working to change minds about mental health problems in Ireland says:

These findings on discrimination show the need for changes in attitude about how we view mental health problems. In our recent research on Irish attitudes to mental health problems, fear of discrimination emerged as a significant issue in preventing people from being open about their mental health. Standing up to stigma and discrimination is about saying what was previously un-sayable and recognising what is common to all of us.

Researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry used detailed questionnaires to ask 1,082 people being treated for depression in 35 different countries about their experiences of discrimination.

Read: Read Me: An open letter to my own depression >

Read: Volunteer depression service rolls out education programme >

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