THE BLOG

Educating Minds to End Mental Health Stigma?

03/07/2014 10:07 BST | Updated 01/09/2014 10:59 BST

Many Politicians would argue that stigma towards those with mental illness is changing.

There is no doubt that the Time to change campaign has been enlightening for many people and potentially has given people the courage to speak out about their own conditions.

The time to change campaign initially used celebrity's to get the message over that we are all vulnerable and that mental illness can happen to anyone. However their recent drive to use the stories of everyday people is easier for the general public to relate to and gives a much more powerful message.

Stigma is often associated with lack of awareness and understanding. Public health services have a major role to play in combatting stigma. Teachers in schools also have a major part to play in educating themselves to enable them to educate children about the range of issues that can affect children and young people. They also have a major role to play in the recognition and early detection of mental illness.

Many argue this is simply something that will change with time, but many charities say it's time to act now as more and more young people are losing their future over the lack of understanding by some peers and teachers in the uk.

The action plan that politicians have set out does not seem to be working, with government cuts showing mental health care as the lesser priority, sees the end of stigma far away.

Many Young people have described the bullying they have been subjected to or the different treatment that have received from other pupils, and the seemingly lack of understanding from teachers. Some mental health sufferers described being treated with less expectation and put into lower classes because of their mental illness.

In some cases this has caused them to drop out of education all together and isolate themselves from their peer group.

Time to Change, stigma shout survey identified that 9 out of 10 people experienced stigma and discrimination in their lives that is worse than the illness itself.

Services in some areas are poor with variable investment in children and young people's services.

Mental health staff are working hard to reach improved "targets" with funding being taken out of the system.

Mental illness and mental health well-being for all, is everyone's business. It needs to be recognised that people with mental illness can make a considerable difference to their communities, given time, acceptance and support. This is what most people want for themselves.

All Politicians and the current government have a moral responsibility to ensure that this is high on their agenda, not just in words but in action.