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Office Information

​LifeWorks of Sonoma County 
1260 N Dutton Ave., Suite 105 
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Phone (707)568-2300
Mon–Fri: 9AM–5PM 
Sat–Sun: Closed

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What is stigma? Why is it a problem?

Stigma is when someone, or even you yourself, views a person in a negative way just because they have a mental health condition. Some people describe stigma as a feeling of shame or judgement from someone else. Stigma can even come from an internal place, confusing feeling bad with being bad.

Navigating life with a mental health condition can be tough, and the isolation, blame and secrecy that is often encouraged by stigma can create huge challenges to reaching out, getting needed support and living well. Learning how to avoid and address stigma are important for all of us, especially when you realize stigma’s effects:

  • People experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying and discrimination. This can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult.

  • Mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability across the United States.

  • Even though most people can be successfully treated, less than half of the adults in the U.S. who need services and treatment get the help they need.

  • The average delay between the onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years.

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death of youth ages 15-24 and the tenth leading cause of death for all Americans.

Take a Stigma Survey

Your thoughts are valuable to us. Help us collect data about mental health stigma, so we can better assess and serve our community needs.

What is stigma?

Stigma: A set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society has about something.

Join thousands of people across the country in the movement to fight mental health stigma.

By signing this pledge, you’re taking a stand against the mental illness stigma. Pass it on. Print it out. Tape it up. It can serve as a reminder to start more conversations and stop the labeling.