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Updated by Ashley L. Peterson on May 27, 2022
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Tools to Challenge Mental Illness Stigma

Living with mental illness can be hard enough, but the stigma adds on a whole other layer of difficulty. Stigma includes stereotypes, prejudiced attitudes, and discriminatory actions, and can occur in social situations, work, health care, and other contexts.

This list has resources on mental illness stigma and advocacy, including sites where you can share your own mental illness story.

You can learn more about stigma on Mental Health @ Home.

A Brief History of Stigma by Ashley L. Peterson

Stigma can have a huge impact on the lives of people living with mental illness. That needs to change, but how can we make it happen? A Brief History of Stigma explores the past and present of stigma to give a solid basis to examine strategies to reduce stigma and critically evaluate their effectiveness. This book is for anyone who's interested in understanding stigma and making the world a better place for people with mental illness. Together, we can create positive change!

A Brief History of Stigma (Part 1) by Perfectly Imperfect: A Podcast on Mental Health for Folx of Color

Johnzelle Anderson LPC reviews Ashley L. Peterson's latest book, A Brief History of Stigma: Looking for Ways to Move Beyond Mental Illness Stigma.

Bell Let’s Talk

Bell Let’s Talk is a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health all across Canada.

In September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk began a new conversation about Canada’s mental health. At that time, most people were not talking about mental illness. But the numbers spoke volumes about the urgent need for action. Millions of Canadians, including leading personalities, engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing every year.

As a result, institutions and organizations large and small in every region received new funding for access, care and research from Bell Let’s Talk and from governments and corporations that have joined the cause. Bell’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $108,415,135.

Building on ten years of increased awareness and acceptance around mental health, Bell Let’s Talk is focused on engaging Canadians to take action to create positive change in mental health.

In March 2020, Bell announced the extension of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative for a further 5 years and an increase in Bell’s total funding commitment for Canadian mental health to at least $155 million.

Bring Change to Mind - Let's Talk Mental Health

Bring Change to Mind is a nonprofit organization, co-founded by actress and activist Glenn Close, dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health.

Bring Change to Mind’s High School Program gives teens a platform to share their voices and raise awareness around mental health. Our goal is to empower students to educate one another, and their communities, and to create a culture of peer support within their schools. Together, we’ll fight the stigma around mental illness.

Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition - End The Stigma with Mental Illness

We’re starting a conversation to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Join us as we share our stories, our struggles and our successes.

If you’re dealing with a mental health challenge, you are not alone. Approximately 1 in 5 Western New Yorkers are living with a mental health diagnosis, yet many of these people suffer in silence because of the discrimination that goes along with it. So, we’re starting a conversation to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Join us as we share our stories, our struggles and our successes. When we talk about mental health, we help everyone find their voice.

It’s time to start talking about mental illness. Start here.

It’s time to spread the word, stop the silence around mental illness, and Make It OK. Join us in stopping mental illness stigma.

18,133 people have pledged to stop mental illness stigma.
By signing this pledge, you’re taking a stand against the mental illness stigma. Pass it on. Print it out. Tape it up. It can serve as a reminder to start more conversations and stop the labeling. Together, we can Make It OK.

NoStigmas | Mental Health Support & Suicide Awareness Community

NoStigmas is a global peer-led movement raising awareness for mental health
& suicide prevention by empowering wellness advocates through education,
peer support & positive action.

We provide online and offline platforms for you to be yourself regarding mental health. No matter where you’re at in your mental health journey, there’s a spot here for you.

By connecting to NoStigmas, you become educated and empowered to find support, share your voice, plan local activities and participate in global activism.

We are here to cultivate the go-to, perpetually growing network of mental health communities. Together with you, we're both eliminating stigma & building a world where nobody has to face mental illness and suicide alone.

Pledge to Be StigmaFree | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental health matters to everyone. Pledge today to promise to learn about mental health, see the person not the illness and take action!

Do you have Stigma? Stigma harms the 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence and prevents them from seeking help. Take the quiz at to be part of the cure.

The StigmaFree campaign is NAMI’s effort to end stigma and create hope for those affected by mental illness. Through powerful words and actions, we can shift the social and systemic barriers for those living with mental health conditions.

#SickNotWeak | Mental Health Community - End the Stigma Canada

#SickNotWeak's online community is here to reach and help that lonely person. Together we can end the stigma that surrounds mental health. Join the movement.


Stamp Out Stigma

Stamp Out Stigma is an initiative spearheaded by the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW) to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders. This campaign challenges each of us to transform the dialogue on mental health and addiction from a whisper to a conversation.

We must first recognize the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders; then reeducate ourselves, friends and family on the truths of mental illness and addiction. When we do this, we can reduce the stigma.

It is the goal of Stamp Out Stigma to change perceptions and reduce the stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders by encouraging people to talk about them.​

STIGMA FIGHTERS - Real People Living With Mental Illness

Welcome to Stigma Fighters: a mental health non-profit organization dedicated to helping real people living with mental illness.

Stigma Fighters has been featured on Good Day New York, Psychology Today, Women’s Health Magazine, and The Washington Post.

In February 2014 CEO and Founder Sarah Fader wrote an article for The Huffington Post about living with panic disorder and depression. She wrote it because she wanted to show the world that there are people living with mental illness who are not just homeless or institutionalized. There are those of us who are living within the confines of society.

There are teachers, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, actors, writers all living with mental illness. These are the stories that need to be told; the people who seem to be “regular” or “normal” people but are actually hiding a big secret. They are living with an invisible illness. They are struggling to function like the rest of society.

It is Stigma Fighters’ mission to raise awareness for people who are seemingly “normal” but actually fighting hard to survive.

Stop the Stigma: Put an End to Mental Illness Stereotypes

Stigma can have a profound effect on people with mental illness. This collection of ideas and resources can help to stop the stigma.

The Show - This Is My Brave

We believe in the power of storytelling to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. This Is My Brave – The Show is a live presentation of touching essays, original music, poetry and comedy performed by a dozen individuals living with – or loving someone with – a mental illness. Shows are held in cities and towns across the United States, as well as in Australia. Auditions are held in each city in advance of the show, creating a cast made up of members of the local community. They rehearse together with a local producer before presenting their stories live on stage in front of an audience. There is strength found in people coming together as a community, propelling a movement forward toward a common goal.

The Stigma Effect

Despite efforts to redress the prejudice and discrimination faced by people with mental illness, a pervasive stigma remains... In The Stigma Effect, psychologist Patrick W. Corrigan examines the unintended consequences of mental health campaigns and proposes new policies in their place. Learn more in this review on Mental Health @ Home.

Together We Can End Mental Health Stigma

Outrun the Stigma is a non-profit organization. Our primary initiative is
organizing a run every October to break down the stigma surrounding mental

Our goal is to reduce mental health stigma by hosting annual Outrun the Stigma event runs and hosting an online story sharing platform. We began in Calgary, and so far have expanded to Edmonton and Toronto with more cities throughout Canada coming in the next years.

We also fulfill this mission by:

Using our website and social media platforms, we encourage sharing of diverse mental health stories

Connecting people with mental health resources and support

Funding organizations that provide mental health services and programs

Written Off

Written-Off tells the story of how mental health stigma comes to have a profound impact on the lives of people diagnosed with mental illnesses. It reviews theory, research, and history - illustrated with a multitude of personal stories - in four major areas. Find out more in this review on Mental Health @ Home.