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Reducing stigma

We are leading work to reduce mental-ill-health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide-related stigma and discrimination in Queensland.

What is stigma?

Stigma is a complex social process where different characteristics or traits are defined and treated negatively. Stigma can be reflected by individuals, communities, and systems through their attitudes, beliefs and behaviours.

Why is this important?

Stigma has broad, comple and long-lasting impacts on people and can result in people feeling marginalised and alienated. It is deep rooted and widespread, and happens across cultures, communities and life settings.

Stigma can cause social isolation or exclusion, and can cause feelings of shame, secrecy, loneliness and hopelessness. It can reduce a person’s quality of life and limit their ability to take part in opportunities and in society.

Stigma also prevents people from seeking help and can reduce use of services and supports. This can happen because of fear of judgement and labelling, anticipated stigma and discrimination, or because a person has previously experienced stigma and discrimination.

What we’re doing

 The Queensland Parliament’s Inquiry into the opportunities to improve mental health outcomes for Queenslanders recommended a public health campaign to: 

  • reduce stigma linked to mental ill-health, alcohol and other drugs use, and eating disorders
  • encourage help-seeking and help-offering behaviours.

It recommended training tools and programs for use in the public, private, not-for-profit and education sectors.

The Queensland Government supported these recommendations and has given $10 million under Better Care Together: A plan for Queensland’s state-funded mental health and alcohol and other drug services to 2027 to deliver this work.

How does this support reform?

Addressing all forms of stigma and discrimination is a principle of Shifting minds 2023–2028. There are also actions and priorities under Shifting minds 2023–2028 and its sub-plans, Achieving balance and Every life Phase Two, to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Next steps

We are currently working on a project plan to deliver this work.

There will be opportunities for the sector, communities and the Queensland public to be involved in the project and we look forward to working together over the coming months.

Further information

For more information, please email

Or you can subscribe to the Commission’s monthly enews to stay up to date with the project and its progress.