Deanah McCormack Counselling services, Tralee -  Mental Health Stigma.

In 2010 research was completed on behalf of See Change, the National Mental Health Partnership who aim to reduce Mental Health Stigma.   Almost one thousand adults were interviewed to get a broad picture of the prevailing attitudes in Ireland today to Mental Health.  

One in eleven people rightly responded that 25% of the population will experience mental illness over the course of their lives. 

70% of respondents acknolwedged the non-discrimnatory nature of mental illness, however 50% of these respondents if experiencing a mental health problem would not like to share this with another.  


While approximately 70% of respondents acknowledged that those with mental health illness should enjoy the same occupational priveleges as everyone else, less than half believed that this is a reality.


All of these statistics point to an underlying fear and uncertainty with regards to mental health issues and our general attitudes towards it.   Uncertaintly and fear can limit a person's self-efficacy.  


To de-stigmatize mental health illness, we must be able to relate to mental health issues in a way that is personally meaningful to all of us.  This we can achieve through education and open discussion. 


There are a number of initiatives and forums available to support and inform us in this area.  Some examples; The N.O.S.P.'s media campaign on 'Your Mental Health'   THe organization Headstrong and the See Change - Make a Ripple forum.  


What can you do locally, within your community to promote Mental Health Awareness?


Check out the following links if you would like more in depth information.