Mental health problems are common. They affect thousands of people in the UK, and their friends, families, work colleagues, and society in general.
The Anti Stigma Leeds Champions came together with Producer/Script Reader/Script Editor Thea Burrows to create the video campaign Voices Against Stigma.
Below they told their stories:
In Leeds around 106,000 people experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression (Leeds in Mind, 2017).
Local hospital admissions for self-harm have been increasing for young women over the last 5 years (Young Women’s Mental Health Outcome Based Accountability Report, 2020).
In Leeds, men are five times as likely to take their own life as women (Leeds Suicide Audit, 2019).
Loneliness and social isolation are experienced across all ages. YouGov research for the charity Age UK in 2017 found that nearly half of all adults over 55 had experienced depression and anxiety.
Mental ill-health has a significant impact, not only on individuals, families and communities, but also on the economy. It is estimated that mental ill-health costs over £500 million every year in Leeds through working days lost and the effects on the health and social care system (Leeds in Mind, 2017).
Most people who experience mental health problems recover fully, or are able to live with and manage them, especially if they get help early on.
But even though so many people are affected, there is a strong social stigma attached to mental ill health, and people with mental health problems can experience discrimination in all aspects of their lives.
Whilst stigma severely affects and can even be the cause of people ending their own lives, it is also bad for society as a whole. If we want a mentally healthy Leeds, we need to act together to make that a reality.
Leeds City Council’s Public Health Team have commissioned Touchstone to bring together a range of organisations and people to tackle the blight of stigma and to work across the city to challenge and – hopefully one day – eradicate stigma from our lives entirely. We are called Anti Stigma Leeds and our current members include:
Anti Stigma Champions and Volunteers
Leeds City Council
Age UK Leeds
Voluntary Action Leeds – BAME Hub
Mindful Employer Leeds
The Marketplace Leeds
Our mission is to stop stigma in its tracks; will you help us? Our membership is open to anyone who would like to get involved with finding new ways to work positively as a whole system to identify, challenge, and end stigma in Leeds.
Follow Anti Stigma Leeds on Twitter – https://twitter.com/AntiStigmaLeeds