Mental Health

Why is good mental health seen as a privilege?
Mental health refers to cognitive, emotional, and psychological well-being. The assumption is that maintaining positive mental health is seen as a privilege because this stigma is not something you have to fight against.​ Social stigma of mental health and mental illness leads to prejudiced attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes that can be increasingly damaging to individuals.

Why is being Mentally Healthy a Privilege?

Mental health is a hugely stigmatised topic in society. Should you not have access to the education, resources or energy to engage in active mental health regulation when needed, living with mental health difficulties in itself is a tough experience before evening considering societal perception and exasperation of it. Within society, there are negative and often false assumptions attached to both having a diagnoses, and to expressing feelings of mental ill-health in everyday situations.

In addition to the perception and stigma attached, there is also the fact that should you have mental health difficulties,  recovering from and regulating mental ill-health is laboursome, requiring consistent effort and energy.

Maintaining positive mental health with ease is seen as a privilege because you do not need to focus extra energy on your mental health regulation, and societal stigma is not something you have to fight against.

What is your privilege?

  • I do not have to hide my true emotions for fear of being considered weak or incapable
  • My daily life isn’t made more difficult to navigate by a mental health condition
  • Words like ‘crazy’, ‘loony’, or ‘demented’ aren’t used to describe people like me

The Stats don’t lie

  • 1 in 4 people globally will have a diagnosable mental illness in their lives
  • Mental health is not considered a priority for most governments, with <2% of health budgets allocated (WHO, 2017)
  • In a survey of 500 hiring decision makers 83% would worry that someone with mental illness would not be able to cope with the demands of their job (HR Magazine, Jul 2017)

What to do next?

Ask, and then ask again. Share your own experience of mental health to encourage others to do the same. It creates a safe space where people can let their guard down and be open about the highs and lows of just being human! Together we can reduce stigma around mental health across society, one conversation at a time. If you’re interested in starting a journey to overhaul this imbalance then join the Privilege Project today.

Watch the recorded session on Mental Health privilege from our launch event.