England’s most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health is launched today and a local NHS Trust is urging people to get behind the campaign.
South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust is fully backing the national ‘Time to Change’ campaign that has launched with TV, radio and print advertising. The campaign is led by a coalition of national mental health charities and has attracted high-profile support from Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax and Alistair Campbell.
Nearly nine out of 10 people with mental health problems have been affected by stigma and discrimination and it stops them from seeking help, applying for jobs and doing normal things like going to the shops. The campaign aims to change people’s attitudes to mental health and stop stigma ruining lives.
South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield and has campaigned locally to reduce the stigma that people with mental health problems face in their day-to-day lives. As part of the Trust’s bid to become a Foundation Trust an anti-stigma campaign was run and nearly 11,000 local people have now joined the Trust as members.
Steven Michael, Trust Chief Executive explained, "Nearly 11,000 people in our region have already shown their support for local mental health services by becoming a member of our Trust. There is a real passion locally for stopping the stigma that people with mental health problems unfairly face and this national campaign will help highlight how damaging stigma can be."
Steven Michael continued, "Mental health problems are common, 1 in 4 of us will have one and stigma has a profound and damaging effect, stopping people from living their lives and from seeking help. Discriminating against people with mental health problems is the last great taboo in our society and there is something we can all do to help; get behind this campaign by agreeing that it really is time for change."
The Trust has been actively involved in anti-stigma work locally using hard-hitting poster campaigns alongside more innovative ideas such as drama performances in local schools and by being the first NHS Trust to use the social networking site, Facebook.
The Time to Change campaign has produced free anti-stigma materials including posters, postcards, bookmarks and coasters. Local people as well as businesses, workplaces and schools can order these materials free of charge from www.time-to-change.org.uk or by calling 0845 456 0455.
To find out more about becoming a member of South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk or call 01924 327567.