‘Public attitudes have worsened’

Attitudes towards people with mental illness have become worse over
the past three years, research has revealed.

A survey commissioned by the Department of Health shows that
attitudes towards people with mental illness stayed the same
between 1993 and 2000 but became worse between 2000 and 2003.

While 89 per cent of respondents agreed that society has a
responsibility to provide people with mental health problems with
the best possible care, this compares with 94 per cent in 2000.
Three-quarters agreed that mental illness is an illness like any
other, but a fifth said that there was something about people with
mental illness that made it easy to tell them apart from other

Paul Corry, head of policy and campaigns at charity Rethink,
said:”It is no coincidence that the worsening of public attitudes
coincided with several government announcements that made the false
link between mental illness, danger and the need for a new
draconian mental health act.”

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