Attitudes to Mental Illness – May 2008

The latest national statistics on Attitudes to  Mental Illness produced by the Department of Health were released on 8 May 2008 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.Since March 1993, the Department of Health has placed a set of  questions on TNS’s Face-to-Face Consumer Omnibus about public  attitudes towards mental illness. From 1993 to 1997 the questions were  asked on an annual basis and then every third year up until 2003.  

Since 2007 the survey has again been carried out annually. The surveys  serve as a benchmark, enabling measurement of whether attitudes are improving or worsening over time. 


Key points from the report:
  • The general public are broadly sympathetic to people with mental health problems and community care.
  • However, some attitudes towards people with mental health problems are worse compared to when the Department of Health first commissioned the poll in 1994, including two relating to fears of patients.
  • On the other hand, several attitudes that had worsened over the period up until 1997 have since improved.
  • Only two attitudes have changed significantly since last year, both an improvement – more think people with mental illness have been subject to ridicule for too long and less think it is easy to tell them from ‘normal people’.

To read the whole report please look under Pages on the right, and then down to Essential Reports.  Click, and you will see the file entry.   Alternatively you can click on the following link:



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