Mental health problems affect one in four of us yet people are still really afraid to talk about them. Having a mental illness is hard enough, but sometimes the isolation and stigma attached to it can make it even worse. For people with such problems not being able to discuss them can be one of the worst parts of the illness.
Despite attitudes about sexuality, ethnicity and other similar issues improving and some recent progress, discrimination is still widespread.
Only by encouraging people to have more understanding of mental health can we start to break down the stereotypes, improve relationships, help recovery and take the stigma out of something that may well affect us all at some time in our lives.
Time to Change is England’s biggest programme to challenge this discrimination. This month the nation is being asked to take 5 minutes to have a conversation about mental health.
Talking about it and breaking the silence doesn’t need
to be difficult and can make a big difference to others by doing so.
We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Both change throughout our lives. And, like our bodies, our minds too can become unwell.
Mental health problems might actually be more common than you think. The effects are as real as a broken arm, even though there isn’t a sling or plaster cast to show for it.
These key facts and statistics about mental health can help to challenge the myths that can contribute to the discrimination that many people still face.
It’s so important to understand the real facts about what these problems are and how they can affect people. The chances are that in any given year we all will be in contact with someone who has a problem.
Yet mental illness is still surrounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear. This means that people become isolated and can be
reluctant to seek help. It can also have an adverse affect on their physical health.
There are many mental illnesses that can shape a person’s whole life such as depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, anxiety, personality disorders or schizophrenia. Also we are learning more about Aspergers and Autism and how we can be more understanding about the problems faced by those with learning difficulties.
Hopefully in the future we will be more sympathetic to mental illness as our knowledge increases and we take “Time to Talk”.
To find out more visit www.time-to-change.org.uk or call Mind 0300 123 3393 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays), or Rethink Mental Illness 0300 5000 927- open 10am to 2pm Mon to Fri (local rate call)