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Mental illness stigma

Dawn Gibson
Monday, July 21, 2014

PEOPLE living with mental illnesses in the country continue to face discrimination on a daily basis.

And many of these people face such discrimination issues from their own families and communities.

This was highlighted earlier this week by Fiji's Psychiatric Survivors Association (PSA) co-ordinator Arishma Nandini, who said when survivors experienced a relapse, discrimination became particularly rife.

"Discrimination has also led to survivors experiencing loss in their social standing. Community members have been known to cut ties not only with survivors but with their family members also."

She explained discrimination acted like a disease and could spread very quickly.

"Discrimination weakens our communities as a whole and affects the very basis of humanity which is to love all without hate and prejudice.

"To overcome discrimination, people need to be more educated about mental health issues and about the support and understanding they can provide to psychiatric survivors."

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