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National Stigma Report Card

Elly, a young woman with long hair wearing a black leather jacket, standing in front of a shop

1 July 2018 — 30 June 2023

The National Stigma Report Card is a world-leading study into how stigma and discrimination affect people living with complex mental health issues.

This is our flagship project, and is conducted in partnership with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, with the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

The National Stigma Report Card findings strongly reinforce the importance of organisations and individuals continuing to collaborate to build an Australia – and a world – free from stigma and discrimination.

Explore the findings

The National Stigma Report Card findings were launched on 12 October 2020.

The launch webinar featured insights and reflections on the research from:

  • people with lived experience of complex mental health issues
  • researchers
  • others committed to reducing stigma and discrimination and improving the lives of all Australians living with complex mental health issues.

You can return to watch this recording of the webinar at any time.

Our Turn to Speak

A national survey, Our Turn to Speak, was launched to understand people’s experiences and what needs to change to ensure all Australians live long and fulfilling lives, free from stigma and discrimination.

The survey, one of the first to look so comprehensively at this issue in Australia, explored how stigma and discrimination affects people with complex mental health issues across many aspects of their lives. 

For many people, participating in the survey represented the first time they have had the opportunity to reflect on and share their experiences in such a holistic way.

The Our Turn to Speak survey ran between October 2019 and March 2020, during which period 1,912 people from across Australia took part online, over the phone or in person.

Through the survey, people living with complex mental health issues shared their experiences of how stigma and discrimination affect 14 aspects of their everyday lives:

  • Relationships
  • Employment
  • Healthcare services
  • Social media
  • Mental healthcare services
  • Mass media
  • Welfare and social services
  • Education and training
  • Financial and insurance services
  • Housing and homelessness services
  • Cultural, faith or spiritual practices and communities
  • Sports, community groups and volunteering
  • Public and recreational spaces
  • Legal and justice services

The survey was open to any adult living in Australia who had experienced at least one of the following complex mental health issues in the previous 12 months:

  • schizophrenia spectrum disorders
    (such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or schizophreniform disorder)
  • bipolar and related disorders
  • personality disorders
    (such as but not limited to borderline personality disorder)
  • obsessive-compulsive and related disorders
    (such as OCD, body-dysmorphic disorder, excoriation disorder, trichotillomania or hoarding disorder)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • dissociative disorders
  • eating disorders
    (such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, and binge-eating disorder)
  • severe and treatment-resistant depression and anxiety requiring multi-agency support.

The findings of the survey are presented in the National Stigma Report Card. It draws on the insights from the almost 2,000 people who participated in survey.

Overall, the findings speak to a pervasive pattern of stigma and discrimination that negatively affects the lives of Australians living with complex mental health issues.

Team members

  • Dr Michelle Blanchard
    Deputy CEO, SANE and Director, Anne Deveson Research Centre
  • Dr Christopher Groot
    Research Lead
  • Dr Imogen Rehm
    Research Fellow
  • Dr Cal Andrews
    Research Fellow
  • Beth Hobern
    PhD Candidate and Research Assistant
  • Elise Carrotte 
    PhD Candidate and Senior Research and Evaluation Coordinator 
  • Lisa Sweeney
    Head of Policy and Advocacy
  • Rikki Morgan
    Communications Specialist – Research and Advocacy
  • Hannah Green
    Communications Specialist – Research and Advocacy
  • Ali Glynn
    Project Support Officer

More information

Visit to explore the findings and for more information about the National Stigma Report Card.

This National Stigma Report Card page may be freely downloaded, copied and distributed on condition no change is made to the contents. SANE is not responsible for any actions taken as a result of information or opinions contained in this article.