Scotland’s local elections: See Me’s message for new councillors

Posted by See Me, 2 May 2022

Ahead of Scotland’s local elections on Thursday 5 May, we’ve produced a message for newly-elected councillors on the steps they can take to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in their constituency.

Working with our volunteers, we’ve made a series of recommendations and principles, outlining what needs to be done at a local level to tackle stigma and discrimination.

Mental health stigma and discrimination often prevents people from getting help and support when they’re struggling – and we all have a part to play in making sure this is a thing of the past, so that people can access the help and services they need.

People’s experiences of their local communities and services have a huge effect on their mental health – and just 54 per cent of Scots say that they feel comfortable speaking about their mental health in their local communities.

Locally managed or commissioned services, from health and social care to workplaces, are amongst the most common places where mental health stigma and discrimination can be experienced.

Illustration of two people chatting on a green background.

As part of our recommendations, we’re encouraging all new councillors to get behind the nationwide See Us movement and make real change in their area and work with local people and services to make change.

See Me’s senior policy advisor Greg Thomas said: “Mental health stigma and discrimination occur in many different areas of everyday life, including education, healthcare and workplaces – and elected representatives can play a key role in tackling that stigma that prevents people from getting help.

“Our priorities and recommendations are all achievable steps that new councillors can take to make an impact in their area.

“We know that mental health is a key issue for constituents across Scotland, and I’d really encourage all newly elected officials to get behind the See Us movement to make a difference.”

You can read our message to new councillors on the policy section of the website.