Voices for inclusion

With described video



Video participant 1:

I think that we're all affected by stigma in a range of ways.

Video participant 2:

La stigmatisation brosse sur tout individuel.

Text on screen: Stigma touches every person. (Translation of original interview.)

Video participant 3:

Who is affected by stigma is everyone.

Video participant 4:

People living with mental health problems or mental illness are among one of the most stigmatized groups.

Video participant 5:

Indigenous peoples, peoples of color, people with a variety of health conditions.

Video participant 6:

Stereotypical identification with terrorists.

Video participant 7:

He had an aggressive gene. This? No way.

Video participant 8:

We need to stop dehumanizing individuals living with obesity.

Video participant 9:

Just the word refugee is stigmatized.

Dr. Theresa Tam:

Stigma is a fundamental driver of health inequity in Canada. It blocks access to health services and opportunities in life.

Video participant 10/ text on screen:

I often have to use my term “doctor” in order to get treated differently in a healthcare system.

Dr. Theresa Tam:

It causes chronic stress. This can trigger a range of physical and mental health problems.

Text on screen: Stigma causes chronic stress.

Video participant 4:

The stigma they experience is often worse than the illness itself.

Dr. Theresa Tam/ text on screen:

And stigma can expose people to hate, trauma and violence.

Video participant 3/ text on screen:

To me, stigma kills people, it literally does.

Dr. Theresa Tam:

My name is Theresa Tam. As Canada’s chief public health officer, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many people across the country: Front-line health workers, researchers, parents, people with all kinds of identities, strengths, challenges and health conditions. While each person’s story is unique, I hear again and again is that stigma is a persistent barrier to good health. So this year, my report is a call for everyone to address, reduce, and ultimately end stigma in Canada’s health system.

Stigma both drives and is driven by health and social inequity.

And every day, many of the people in Canada who need health services the most cannot and do not access them. What can we do?

We can change the way we think about stigma. Many people in Canada experience multiple stigmas. These are not experienced one at a time. So, stigmas like these…cannot be addressed without also addressing stigmas like these.

We can stop using dehumanizing language like this. We can adopt new attitudes about those we serve, and everyone we meet.

In our institutions, we can review the systems that reinforce stigma. This means ensuring policies, practices (even physical spaces) protect and support people who face stigma. It also means measuring, monitoring and reporting on our progress, no matter what actions we take.

Video participant 4/ text on screen:

Getting people talking about mental health and normalizing it.

Video participant 11/ text on screen:

Hiring of staff that the affected community trusts.

Video participant 3/ text on screen:

People just love the elders being involved with them.

Video participant 12/ text on screen:

There was a change in the federal laws around criminalization of HIV non-disclosure.

Video participant 7:

We’ve already contributed greatly to today's society. This contribution must be acknowledged.

Text on screen: Translation of original interview.

Dr. Theresa Tam:

Too often, those who experience stigma are also those taking action on stigma in the health system, but addressing stigma is everyone’s responsibility. Together, we can create the most inclusive health system in the world.

Text on screen: Addressing Stigma: Towards a More Inclusive Health System. The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report of the State of Public Health in Canada 2019. Dr. Tam and the Public Health Agency of Canada thank those who generously shared their stories for this project. Canada.ca/CPHOreport. Public Health Agency of Canada.

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