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depression: discrimination and stigma across Europe

Depression is the most common mental illness in the UK and one of the leading contributors to the global burden of disease. Yet, one of the biggest barriers to treating depression is not that therapies aren’t effective or available – many are.   It is the barrier of stigma and discrimination faced by those with depression that often stalls treatment and recovery.

This subject is extremely timely with the reintroduction of the Mental Health (discrimination) bill – a bill to allow individuals with mental health problems to participate fully in society. Only a few months ago, MPs stood in the House of Commons and talked about their own experiences of mental illness to raise support for the bill.

We brought together two leading scientists working on the pioneering EU-funded ASPEN (Anti Stigma Programme European Network) study, who presented findings from their forthcoming Lancet paper.  

The paper is a comprehensive report of discrimination across 35 countries (including the UK), and the impact of this discrimination on people with depression.

Topics covered: 

  • How widespread is discrimination and stigma across Europe?
  • How does the UK compare to other European countries?
  • What determines whether an individual with depression will experience discrimination?
  • What impact does discrimination have on the road to recovery for someone with depression?
  • What can be done to reduce stigma and discrimination?



Prof Graham Thornicroft – Head of the Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and Director of Research and Development, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.

Dr Diana Rose – Senior Lecturer in User-Led Research and Co-director Service User Research Enterprise, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. 

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