People diagnosed with mental health disorders are stigmatised and discriminated against in pretty much any area of life, even in the places where you would least expect it. For instance; my inspiration for the Free Your Mind campaign came from the stigma and discrimination I faced, because of my mental illness, from the nurses during a stay on a psychiatric ward.
A survey carried out as part of the Time to Change campaign, which also addresses discrimination towards mental illness, the survey found that people diagnosed with a mental health problem are more likely to be turned down for a second date if they disclose of their mental illness, than those who reveal they have spent time in prison.
Many of us with mental health problems do find it hard to date. Personally, most of the dates I have been on have bombed if I reveal I am mentally ill. People become afraid and can also quite often assume my mental illness means I'm stupid, or even dangerous, but I'm not! Sometimes they do ask for a second dates but as time progresses, arguments happen, and they use your mental health diagnosis against you. (I normally break it off at that point.)
Another survey by Time to Change found that 92% of people in Britain felt their job prospects would diminish if they were to disclose of a mental illness. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) at present does, to a degree, protect individuals who make the very brave decision to reveal to their employers they have a mental health diagnosis, but "one must prepare for a hard struggle to make use of that protection" says solicitor Kiran Daurka.
Unfortunately, the tabloids often report on mental illness in a negative, prejudice and ignorant way. Take the treatment of Britney Spears' "breakdown" and eventual sectioning. Also look at the more recent treatment of X Factor contestant Shirlena Johnson and her alleged mental health problems; however, does having a history of mental illness, or even a mental health diagnosis, mean that somebody is incapable of taking part in The X Factor, or at handling fame? No is doesn't.
When somebody is diagnosed with mental health problems and they have children, the people around them start to question whether that person is fit to be a parent, and often they can perceive behaviours in the person with the mental illness that are not actually there. Even those who understand a bit about mental health disorders can still hold prejudices, particularly when a friend or loved one with a diagnosis has others in their care.
Having a mental illness does not make someone incapable of caring for children, performing well at work, and of being of being smart and articulate. People with a mental health diagnosis are discriminated against far too often!
Read more about discrimination towards mental illness here.