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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

College comments on attitudes to mental illness survey

Embargoed until 08 June 2011

Commenting on the NHS Information Centre's Attitudes to Mental Illness 2011 survey report, Dr Peter Byrne, Director of Public Education at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

“We welcome this well-conducted survey, the results of which can be compared with surveys from previous years.

“It is positive to see improvements in people’s self-acceptance of mental health problems, and an increasing willingness to talk about their mental health – even to their employers.

“However, the negative headlines are the 1 in 6 people who wrongly attribute mental health problems to a lack of will-power, the 1 in 5 people with ‘NIMBY’ (not in my back yard) attitudes, and the 1 in 4 people who would not trust a woman who had been in a psychiatric hospital as their babysitter.

“Forcing people with mental health problems to the margins increases stigma and discrimination against them. Our message is to remind people to think about the consequences of excluding others from society, and to remember that 1 in 4 of us will develop a major mental health problem at some point in our lives.”

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896



The full survey results can be found here:


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