17 December 2015
Talking to tackle stigma
Five minutes can make decades of
difference when it comes to mental health stigma.
During an anti-stigma event in the foyer of Weston General
Hospital on 10 December, AWP staff, led by local involvement
coordinator Stephen Budd, had five minute conversations about
mental health with almost 100 people.
All of us experience better or worse mental health at different
times - albeit to lesser or greater extremes - with one in four of
us experiencing mental health problems each year. Nearly nine out
of ten people experiencing mental health problems say they face
stigma and discrimination as a result - and for some this can be
even worse than the symptoms themselves. Encouraging more people to
think and talk about mental health more often and in more depth is
a great way to break down stigma.
AWP is working with local groups to challenge mental health
stigma and discrimination and the event on 10 December, which was
organised by Stephen Budd, was held in partnership with Weston
General Hospital, Time to Change, The Samaritans and Rethink.
The centrepiece was a 'recovery tree' on which Christmas baubles
were hung featuring messages of recovery and hope from service
users - and people were asked to add their own messages on the day.
Alongside information from local and national mental health
organisations, Stephen and the team handed out pens, badges, stress
balls, car stickers - and chocolate - to remind people to think
about mental health. Staff and volunteers were on hand to discuss
issues and answer questions.
Stephen said, "The day was a great success in promoting
awareness of mental health and breaking down stigma."