Feedback on the (Draft) National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy

Lived Experience Advocacy

Submission on the (Draft) National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy

Lived Experience Findings 

The NMHC (Draft) National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy public consultation has now closed. Read our submission to learn what our members had to say.

Have a question, or comment or want to know more? Let us know via email at: [email protected].

Our involvement with the consultation

The MHLEPQ worked with our members to provide a lived experience-only perspective on the NMHC (draft) Strategy. Our organisational survey sought membership feedback on the proposed actions of the Strategy and co-created a submission that reflected lived experience knowledge and expertise.

The National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) closed the public consultation on the (Draft) National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy (the Strategy) on February 1, 2023. Progress and outcomes can be found on the NMHC website.

Key insights from our submission

  • Reducing stigma and discrimination for people with lived and living experience of mental distress, ill-health and /or suicidality requires the leadership and knowledge of people most affected by it: those who are marginalised, disadvantaged, and excluded from society due to the ongoing effects of stigma and discrimination.
  • Short, medium-term, and long-term whole-of-societal planning such as that suggested in the (Draft) National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy, well implemented and monitored, carried strong membership confidence that a reduction of stigma and discrimination could occur.
  • A human rights, person-centred, culturally responsive and holistic societal shift was described as crucial to support the systemic, structural, public and individual action plans recommended within the Strategy. Human rights and equity frameworks must be written into legislation and policy and have independent oversight, including by lived experience workforce.
  • Lived experience workforce and leadership is critically important to shift the current societal and cultural conditions that support ongoing stigma and discrimination.
  • Structural stigma and discrimination remain a strong barrier to people’s recoveries. This is particularly so within legal and financial systems where there is less confidence that change can and will occur (despite it being deemed as critically important).
  • Evaluation, monitoring and public reporting of change processes are crucial to closing the quality improvement loop on recommended actions.
  • Public media’s role in the social movement to reduce stigma and discrimination is crucial, both through public education strategies and by reviewing and changing the ways that they currently reinforce stigma and discrimination.
  • People with lived and living experience of stigma and discrimination due to their mental health status continue to carry the burden of internalised negative societal messages about who they are and what sort of lives they can lead. Advocacy, holistic support and working in partnership with people to enable their recoveries is critical to individual and community wellbeing.
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