Mental Health

Mental health is crucial to wellbeing, but mental health issues are deeply stigmatized in American society. As a result, many people don’t get the treatment they need, which undermines their overall health and prevents them from participating fully in all aspects of life.

To address this problem, FrameWorks investigated how the public thinks about mental health. Researchers found that most people strongly believe that mental health should not be stigmatized. Even so, stigma persists because of deep, underlying assumptions about health, self-control, personal responsibility, and “normalcy.”

Strategic framing has the power to change these assumptions. The study below shows how advocates can communicate in a way that destigmatizes mental health. Adopting these recommendations can build support for societal change and ultimately allow more people to get the care they need.


  • Colorado Health Foundation
  • Tri-County Health Department (Colorado)

Research and Recommendations

Beyond Awareness of Stigma: Moving Public Understanding to the Next Level (2017)
This report compares expert and public views of issues related to mental health and outlines the differences between them. It also offers recommendations that advocates can use to destigmatize mental health and shift public thinking in more productive directions.

FrameWorks Institute

  Updated: 01/16/18