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. http://www.seechange.ie/index.php/stigma-and-discrimination/98-research   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.

 

http://www.spunout.ie/

http://www.headstrong.ie/

http://www.seechange.ie/index.php/our-initiatives/94-make-a-ripple?gclid=COi8qtinpawCFUEb4QodbXbPZA