King's College London

Research portal

Perceptions of positive treatment and discrimination towards people with mental health problems: Findings from the 2017 and 2019 Attitudes to Mental Illness surveys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalStigma and Health
Accepted/In press12 Nov 2019
Published13 Feb 2020

King's Authors


Evaluations of anti-stigma interventions typically assess changes in knowledge and attitudes and rarely measure behaviour. This paper reports interim findings on perceived and self-reported avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment from the 2017 and 2019 Attitudes to Mental Illness surveys, which evaluate England’s Time to Change programme. Nationally representative quota samples of participants aged 16+ (n=1720 in 2017 and n=1785 in 2019) were interviewed about mental health-related knowledge and attitudes, reported and intended contact with people with mental health problems, awareness of Time to Change and knowledge of anyone with a mental health problem in the last 12 months. Participants who knew someone with mental ill health indicated how they thought the person had been treated by others in different life areas, and whether they themselves had avoided the person, treated them unfairly or treated them more positively. There were no changes in perceived treatment over time. Logistic regressions found that more prejudicial attitudes and less intended contact were associated with self-reported avoidance, while poorer knowledge was associated with unfair treatment. Greater knowledge and reported contact were associated with positive treatment. Future anti-stigma interventions could use these findings to differentially target avoidance, discrimination and positive treatment towards people with mental health problems.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454