We believe that people experiencing mental health difficulties should be given the opportunity to thrive in all areas of their lives.
Our vision is a society where individuals experiencing mental ill health are:
Our mission is to unite communities and organisations across Northern Ireland in common cause to stamp out stigma in all its forms by:
Why we're doing it
The statistics around mental ill health in Northern Ireland are stark. One in five people will experience a mental health problem each year. The rate is an estimated 25% higher than elsewhere in the UK. With the right support, however, people experiencing mental ill health can and do recover to live full lives.
That said, we still live in a culture of silence around mental health; many of the facts and realities surrounding it are widely misunderstood. These misconceptions breed stigma and discrimination, undermining an individual’s ability to participate in society, feel connected and seek support.
Our research has shown generally positive opinions – in terms of tolerance and resistance towards blaming people for their own mental health problems – on this issue in Northern Ireland, yet, attitudes of fear, uncertainty and exclusion persist. This can also be coupled with a reluctance amongst those experiencing mental illness to self-disclose and begin their journey to support.
In comparison to England, Scotland and Wales, where campaigns have been running for years (2002 in Scotland, 2007 in England and 2012 in Wales), anti-stigma work in Northern Ireland has been fragmented.
Our ambition is to create a cohesive, collaborative and community-driven awareness campaign that will: