Shatter the Stigma

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Stigma: a mark of shame or discredit associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

When applied to mental health, the resulting trauma not only has a negative impact on someone’s wellbeing but also creates a potential barrier to accessing much needed care and support.

When moving into a lived-experience role within Mackay Hospital and Health Service’s (HHS) Division of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Service, Debbie Lattimore was asked to deliver a presentation about stigma to the local Emergency Department. It was in that moment, that the Shatter the Stigma campaign was born.

Over the following four years, Debbie delivered the presentation to over 2000 people, having such a great impact they started producing T-shirts and pledge cards in support of shattering stigma. As the campaign started to grow in prominence, the team at Wide Bay HHS approached Debbie about implementing something similar locally.

From that spark in Mackay, the campaign exploded across Wide Bay, with people unable to walk through a facility without seeing some form of shatter the stigma messaging. Not only does it let patients know that they are safe and welcome, but it has also created an environment where staff feel valued and protected to seek help without judgement.

What started out with T-shirts and pledges has grown to champions networks and executive support which is driving grassroots change that is transforming their entire service into a stigma free zone.

Stigma affects all of us, so join the campaign to Shatter the Stigma and be the change we need.



Listen to our podcast on creating safe, stigma free environments for people with a mental health diagnosis.

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Improvement Exchange

Improvement Exchange

Visit the Shatter the Stigma page on the improvement exchange to learn more about setting up the service.

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