Just last week, Mental Health Day 2014 took place. Campaigners all over the world worked hard to raise awareness of the mental health issues that plague so many of us as well as put an end to the outdated views, stigma and discrimination surrounding those who suffer.
Despite the fact that a staggering 450 million people worldwide and one in four Brits will be affected by mental health problems at some point during their lives, many are sadly still faced with negative reactions when they disclose their illness.
A shocking nine out of 10 people have revealed that once they had the courage to speak out about their problems, they faced stigma and discrimination from others because of it. Worryingly, nearly 60% of those people went on to say that the prejudices they face are almost as bad or even worse than the illness itself.
Managing a mental health problem is difficult and being able to talk about it is a crucial part of treatment. If people are made to feel like an outcast then it’s obvious that they won’t talk to friends, families and colleagues about it and chances are that they won’t even seek help from a doctor.
Health experts all over the world are calling for mental health taboos to be crushed once and for all. An extremely powerful method of achieving this is through social contact. This is where people with and without mental health problems come together to have a conversation as this helps to transform inaccurate attitudes and opinions about mental health.
The good news is that over the last year, public attitudes towards mental illness improved significantly and there has been a marked improvement amongst people who are more willing to work with, live with a continue in a relationship with someone suffering from such illnesses.
There is still a lot of work that needs to go into ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding this topic so if you would like more information, please feel free to visit our mental health knowledge centre. If you are struggling with mental illness please contact us for help.