Call to Tackle Mental Health Stigma in 2017 as new Research Released

Posted by See Me, 4 January 2017

NEARLY 30 per cent of Scots say they have experienced mental health problems according to new research.

A YouGov poll of 1004 Scottish adults, commissions by us, found that 29% of Scots say they have experienced mental health problems, and 39% say a family member has.

However 35% said that either themselves, or someone close to them had experienced stigma or discrimination because of their mental health.

Some of the most common areas that this stigma occurs is in workplaces, with young people, in health and social care and with friends and family.

See Me has said that the first step to ending this stigma is for everyone to feel confident speaking about mental health and to be there for each other.

This year they will focus on making this change from a young age, with their ‘What’s On Your Mind?’ pack now available to schools across the country to download.

Calum Irving, See Me director, said: “We all have mental health, it can be up or it can be down, any of us could struggle at any point.

“To treat someone differently because they are going through a tough time isn’t fair. However we know that stigma isn’t always intentional. People often don’t speak about mental health because they are worried they will say the wrong thing or could make it worse.

“But if no one speaks about mental health, then people won’t feel comfortable asking for help when they need it.

“A good new year’s resolutions for all of us could be to open up a conversation on mental health. You can do that with a simple, ‘are you okay?’ You don’t need to have all the answers, just talking to someone about how they feel can help.

“What we want everyone to know this year is it’s okay not to be okay, and it’s okay to speak about it and it’s okay to ask for help.”