Every year – on 10 October – we join together in shining the spotlight on a particular aspect of mental ill health. The theme for 2015 is Dignity in Mental Health.
One in four adults and one in ten children are likely to have a mental health problem in any given year. This can have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people in the UK, and can affect their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day.
But an ill-informed and damaging attitude among some people exists around mental health that can make it difficult for some to seek help. It is estimated that only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem in the UK receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority of people grappling with mental health issues on their own, seeking help or information, and dependent on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.
How can we challenge this?
We are confronting this stigma through facts. Facts that help us understand patterns of mental health problems, their causes and solutions. Facts that help us break down barriers in seeking help and support. We have produced an updated Fundamental Facts with the aim of distributing it to the widest audience possible.
What is long-term answer?
At the heart of Fundamental Facts is a focus on prevention, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. For example, by providing the right information, guidance and support in childhood and adolescence, the chances of developing mental health problems can be reduced for millions of people over a lifetime.
This focus on prevention is in part about what we can all do to safeguard our wellbeing, but is also about tackling the social and economic inequalities that can lead to a higher prevalence of mental health problems.
How can you help?
This October please help us by sharing Fundamental Facts on social media with family, friends and colleagues.
We believe that effectively supporting people experiencing mental health problems is on target to become one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. Stigmatising and discriminatory treatment can be particularly distressing when a person is experiencing a health crisis.
We all have mental health and by failing to treat people with mental health problems with dignity we make it more difficult to ensure that everyone takes steps to safeguard their wellbeing and to seek help, as it can lead to self-stigma, low confidence, low self-esteem, withdrawal and social isolation