Today my article for Mental Health Awareness Week (by the mental health foundation) went live on the Metro.co.uk website. I worked with the Foundation, Samaritans, Young Minds and Time to Change to discuss their initiatives to help break stigma against mental illness and do something active in our communities.
Here is an extract of the article link to the full piece: http://metro.co.uk/2018/05/15/its-mental-health-awareness-week-how-are-charities-fighting-the-stigma-surrounding-the-subject-7533330/
(image: Eleanor Segall)
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, The event run by the Mental Health Foundation, has been running for 18 years. ‘Admitting it was shameful and embarrassing’ – what it’s really like to have kleptomania This year’s theme for Mental Health Week is: ‘Stress: Are We Coping?’.
Tackling stress, The Mental Health Foundation says, can go a long way to prevent anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide, and it has commissioned the biggest ever survey into stress-related issues in the UK.
The survey, of 6,000 people across the UK, found some startling findings: in the last year almost three-quarters of people have at some point felt so stressed they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
It revealed that 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope, and that 83% of 18- to 24 year-olds said this, compared to 65% of people aged 55 and over.
Mental Health Foundation director Isabella Goldie says: ‘Millions of us around the UK are experiencing high levels of stress and it is damaging our health. ‘Stress is one of the great public health challenges of our time, but it still isn’t being taken as seriously as physical health concerns.’
Talking and breaking the stigma that surrounds mental illness is also hugely important So how are charities working to break down this stigma? We spoke to a number of them to find out.
The Mental Health Foundation
It is hoped that Mental Health Awareness Week will educate on stress and mental health, and start to open the conversation on coping methods and support, such as therapies, support networks and medication. The foundation is running the Green Ribbon scheme, a charity pin that can be bought. Worn during Mental Health Awareness Week, It allows people to show support for good mental health for all, with all proceeds going to support the work of the foundation. Actor David Harewood posted a photo on Instagram about the campaign as he is an ambassador.
He says: ‘This year I am supporting MHAW. I am putting my face to the campaign and making a BBC documentary on the subject because 30 years ago I had a breakdown myself.
‘I am not sure why it has taken so long for me to go public with it, but, to be honest, I’ve been so busy over the past seven to eight years I haven’t really had the time. ‘Ever since I did last year, I have been astonished by the number of people who have come to me with their own experiences of mental health, encouraged by my frank admission.’
The Foundation wants the green ribbon to be the international symbol for mental health awareness. It is encouraging family and friends or colleagues to get together and have a chat about mental health over a curry. There are quiz ideas and competitions to keep your guests engaged and to raise money for the Foundations work in mental health. To learn more, visit mentalhealth.org.uk.
To read more about the other charities and see the full article click the link below.