Morocco: A campaign against stigmatization of people with mental disorders

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection is organizing, from October 17 to 27, the 2nd national campaign against the stigmatization of people with mental disorders, under the slogan: “Mental disorders do not exclude dignity and fundamental rights”. 

This campaign promotes the rights of these people, demystifies mental illness, deconstructs the prejudices associated with it, and raises awareness among families, loved ones, health professionals and the general public about the importance of support in the healing process. 

Indeed, mental disorders are considered a major public health problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 76% to 85% of people with severe mental disorders or disabilities related to these disorders do not receive treatment in low- and middle-income countries. “In addition, the risk for these people to be victims of physical violence is increased by 11 to 13 times,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Health. 

The same source indicates that the impact of the negative social attitudes towards people with mental disorders put in precarious conditions, rejected and marginalized by society, by categorizing them as violent, powerless, unfit and unmotivated, affects their daily life, their family and social relationships and constitutes a real obstacle to their social inclusion. 

Thus, stigmatization affects people more when it comes from close friends and family members, while the emotional support of the family environment is an essential pillar to facilitate recovery. 

“The organization of this campaign is an opportunity to promote mental health, prevent mental disorders, shed light on the problems of discrimination and stigmatization experienced by these people, and to reduce the incidence of these disorders by acting before the onset of problems on the risk factors that threaten the mental health of individuals,” concludes the statement. 

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