Information about The World Dignity Project

The idea for The World Dignity Project started to be transformed into a reality in New York in May 2014 with the recognition that many people who experience mental ill health as patients or care-givers are often marginalized and discriminated against, and there was no easily recognizable global symbol representing mental health, despite the fact that one in four people will experience mental illness.

The purpose of the initial project was to gain understanding of the experiences and stories of users of mental health services, both patient and caregivers, and to use this as inspiration for the design process for the ‘Dignity’ symbol.

Global research into patient and caregiver dignity experiences was carried out by ModelPeople, a global strategy consultancy, in late 2014, producing a richness of emotional experiences in words and pictures. This enabled us to develop a Taxonomy of Dignity in Mental Health from a Service User Perspective, which has three components with different agents:

  • Care, empathy and compassion: from healthcare professionals, family and caregivers
  • Hope for recovery, self-esteem and self-determination: patient in partnership with healthcare professionals
  • Equality, parity of esteem and full citizenship: from society, governments at all levels and the professional associations and NGOs who fight for service user rights

These insights inspired creation of The World Dignity Project logo, the first global symbol for Dignity in mental health launched in Lille, France on 30 April 2015.


The UN has affirmed the right of every human being to enjoy the highest standard of physical and mental health without discrimination on any basis. Yet stigma continues to be a barrier to obtaining good health for many people with a mental illness because they do not have equality of access to healthcare and other social services. In addition, many people are reluctant or afraid to talk about problems with their mental health for fear of discrimination. Further, co-morbid mental ill-health is increasingly common in patients with chronic physical health conditions.

A Movement for Dignity in Mental Health

“Mental illness must not be something to be ashamed of. The World Dignity Project is a movement to end stigma and ensure dignity and hope for vulnerable people.”

Our Mission

We fight for mental health and well-being for all with equality of treatment and dignity in patient experience as a basic human right.

Our Goals
1. Public

Mobilizing the public to ensure dignity in mental health is a reality through:

  • Changing the public mindset towards those with mental health issues
  • Encouraging wider public discussion about mental health
  • Providing dignity and hope for people affected by mental illness
2. Mental Health Professionals

Helping mental health professionals to tackle self-stigma and promote a dignity experience for patients, carers and families by:

  • Connecting professionals, sharing experiences
  • Increasing understanding of the service user experience
  • Continuing Professional Development
3. Policy Makers

Engaging policy makers and influencing them to ensure policies protect and promote dignity and equality of treatment for those with mental health issues.

We recognize people who have made a contribution to mental health through our Mental Health Champions Awards. These provide us with inspirational examples of people who fight for mental health dignity every day.

Using these examples, our aim is to attract a million individuals to become Dignity Ambassadors to form a global movement to address the stigma related to mental health and launch it to the general public worldwide. These Champions are acknowledged on the World Dignity Project website

Join us and stand up and fight for mental health and well-being for all, with equality of treatment and dignity in experience as a basic human right.

For highlights of our activities, download our report.

To join the movement, go to: