As part of this year’s mental health awareness week the local provider of NHS mental health services is renewing its commitment to fight the stigma that so often surrounds people with mental health problems and learning disabilities.
The Mental Health Foundation holds an awareness week each year and works with people and organisations across the UK to help raise awareness of important public health issues which are often neglected. This year the week runs from 21 – 27 May.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has produced a series of stop the stigma posters and is inviting local organisations to help by displaying them in areas around the community such as social care premises, health centres, libraries and leisure centres.
The designs produced by the Trust range from a scrabble board showing words like ‘bonkers’, ‘loony’ ‘schizo’ ‘nutter’ and ‘psycho’ to a poster that lists famous names who have been affected by mental health issues and still achieved success. There is also a poster design which compares mental health to physical health and one that shows how people with learning disabilities can be discriminated against.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services across Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield and has always been committed to fighting the stigma that surrounds mental ill health and learning disability.
Dr Bushra Azam, psychiatry specialist registrar, explained, “1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem during the course of a year, so chances are we all know someone who is having problems. What can make it worse though is the stigma attached to it. We need to talk about mental health issues (i.e. depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, Schizophrenia and personality difficulties etc) openly in order to raise awareness so that people are encouraged to seek help. We hope that by displaying these posters in our local communities it will encourage people to start talking and think differently. It’s important that we challenge the negative attitudes and as part of mental health awareness week we ask local people to help us stop the stigma.”
Local communities are encouraged to display posters in shops, places of worship, community settings or anywhere else they feel is appropriate. Posters can be obtained, free of charge, by calling 01924 327567 or emailing email@example.com
For more information about South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, including how to become a member, visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk