Nearly two thirds (61%) of the population know someone close to them who has experience of mental ill-health but 40% of Scots admit they would find it hard, or are unsure, how to discuss or talk about mental illness.
That’s why NHS 24, Scotland’s national telehealth and telecare organisation, will be signing an anti-stigma pledge on January 20th.
NHS 24 will raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing and work with ‘see me’, Scotland’s national anti-stigma programme, in a bid to stamp out stigma associated with mental ill-health.
John Turner, Chief Executive of NHS 24, said: “It is vitally important that people experiencing mental health problems feel they can ask for support. This is an important issue for us all, and NHS 24.
“We will be working closely with ‘see me’ to promote and support their campaign.”
By signing the ‘see me’ pledge, NHS 24 will commit to an action plan to help end the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with mental ill-health, which covers the organisation’s capacity as an employer, service provider and community stakeholder.
Dr Stella Clark, Clinical Lead for Mental Health Services at NHS 24, commented: “The social stigma experienced by people with mental health problems can make the road to recovery harder, deny opportunities for employment and have a negative effect on personal relationships.
“Being able to speak openly to friends, family and colleagues can aid recovery from mental ill-health.”
Judith Robertson, Programme Director of ‘see me’, added: “‘see me’ welcomes the pledge of NHS 24 to work to tackle stigma and end the discrimination associated with mental ill-health.
“We hope that the commitment shown by NHS 24 will encourage other organisations to show their support for ‘see me’, develop a plan of action and help raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing.”
Further information and resources about looking after your mental health can be found through the NHS Inform Mental Health and Wellbeing Zone at www.nhsinform.co.uk/mentalhealth