THE BLOG

Stigma: Should It Still Surround Mental Health?

20/01/2014 15:48 GMT | Updated 22/03/2014 09:59 GMT

Should mental health stigma still have an impact of those suffering?

Statistics show that almost everyone dealing with mental health has been, and still is, impacted negatively by the stigma surrounding it. Is it right that already vulnerable and isolated members of society should be made to feel more alone?

There are no qualms about conversation regarding physical health. In fact, it's on almost everyone's list of small talk topics, so why is this so different when it comes to mental health?

Many illnesses are 'invisible', but the implications of them are clearly seen. This is the case for many mental illness, so why are they less accepted?

Throughout history there has always been a general fear of the unknown until further information and facts come to light. Some would argue that the negative perception of mental health is still at large due to lack of knowledge, ignorance and fear.

Many organisations campaign for mental health awareness and support. One organisation (Minds Like Ours) goes one step further and dedicates one whole day to '#MythBustingMonday' via social media sites, including twitter. They aim to educate those who have little knowledge, support those dealing with it and reduce mental health stigma by sharing their members' personal stories.

On the 20/01/2013, Minds Like Ours took over the internet with '#MythBustingMonday', but getting all their members to tweet, post and upload as many myths and facts about mental health as possible in the hope of achieving their aim.

In the last few days Nick Clegg appealed for mental health awareness and said

"There is too much ignorance, too much prejudice, too much discrimination.

"We've got to take this out of the shadows."

However, this comes days after the realisation of the UK Government's plans to blanket block many sites, including those providing mental health support, was already being implemented. The UK government wanted greater protection for young people online, however, this blanket filtering is seen by many as being counterproductive.

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Minds Like Ours argue that filtering mental health support organisations, along with their websites being blocked, is having the exact opposite effect of the one planned. In aid of this, a petition has been set up to stop the blanket blocking and to allow helpful, safe and supportive pages to still be accessible. This can be found below along with their open letter.

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-prime-minister-david-cameron-stop-the-harmful-and-unnecessary-filtering-of-mental-health-websites-and-forums