New support for communities across Scotland to challenge mental health discrimination

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MORE than 20 per cent of people in Scotland don’t feel comfortable speaking about mental health in their community, according to research released today.

A survey by See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health discrimination, found that 23 per cent of people wouldn’t feel comfortable speaking about mental health in their community.

They also found that number is even higher for those experiencing mental health problems, with 29 per cent saying they wouldn’t speak.

To change this See Me have developed a brand new resource, to get people in communities across the country talking about mental health, thinking about stigma, and challenging discrimination.

See Me Champion Suzanne Baines (left) with fellow champion Karen Lally – Image supplied

The Communities Can pack has a range of information, activities, tools and resources which can be used by community groups, schools, workplaces, sports clubs and more, to ensure that people aren’t treated differently, or unfairly, if they’re struggling with their mental health.

See Me champion, Suzanne Baines, 48, from Erskine, helped to create the pack, and has been working to tackle stigma in her community, with her project, You Matter Always, which looks to empower people to believe in themselves, and is a member of the Renfrewshire Anti Stigma Alliance.

She said: I think communities are an integral part of society because they provide a sense of belonging and acceptance that connects us to civilisation in an inclusive, productive and meaningful way.

“I have lots of experience working with communities. This ranges from continually striving to silence mental health stigma and discrimination through walks, talks, tours, events, poetry etc in collaboration with my own family unit, friend’s groups, workplaces, online community and volunteering groups.”

Toni Groundwater, See Me social movement manager, said: “We all have mental health and that plays a huge part in our lives, and any of us could go through a period where we struggle.

“People with mental health problems should be able to participate in society without fear of exclusion or discrimination.

“We want to grow a movement across the country, and want as many people as possible to join us in making a difference. You can start today by downloading our Communities Can pack.”

 
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