Tackling stigma requires a collective voice to create a lasting, positive change in people’s attitudes and better inform the public of the facts.
What can you do to tackle stigma?
By lending your voice to the Change Your Mind campaign, you will be helping to work towards our vision of a society in which people experiencing mental ill health are treated with equality, dignity and respect, and feel confident to speak out and seek help.
Change minds in five steps:
- Get informed about the facts around mental health and stigma.
- Get positive conversations started about mental health with friends, family and colleagues.
- Learn how to recognise stigma and challenge it when you see it.
- Take a critical view of the way in which mental health is presented in the media or in conversations you might witness. Does it portray people fairly and respectfully or does it resort to stereotypes?
- See the person not the illness. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is experiencing stigma; it’s important not to define or judge someone by their health problems but to see them as individuals.
- Get involved with the Change Your Mind campaign to join your voice with those who are already changing minds about mental health.
It’s Time To Talk
One in five of us will be affected by mental health problems in any one year, so being able to talk about it is something that’s important to all of us. Having those conversations is the first step in breaking down stigma and gaining a better understanding of mental health.
Whether its through fear, embarrassment or lack of knowledge, avoiding the subject of mental health isn’t good for anyone and only allows stigma to continue.
By talking about this subject, we can break down stereotypes, strengthen friendships, aid recovery and take the taboo out of something that affects us all.
You don’t need to be an expert to talk about mental health. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Take it one step at a time
- Mental health is a big topic and it can be daunting to know where to begin. Simply being there for someone means a lot and keeping in touch by meeting up, phoning or texting is a great support.
Be open minded
- One person’s experience of mental health won’t be the same as another’s. Listen to their perspective and let them know you’re there for them.
Don't just talk about mental health
- Mental health is just one part of a person and people don’t want to be defined by it. Make sure you continue to talk about the things you’ve always talked about.
Courage is contagious
- Don’t be surprised if your honesty encourages other people to talk about their own experiences. Often, once mental health is out in the open, people want to talk.