Mental Health Awareness Week – help reduce the stigma around mental health
8th May 2017
As May gets into full swing and you are left wondering whether or not it is actually warm outside (or if that English sun is simply back to playing its usual tricks), we ask you to refocus your thoughts and instead look at today, the 8th May 2017, as a day for change. Look at today as a day for exploring what we can do to look after our mental health, support one another and, ultimately, inspire us to look at mental health in the same way as physical health, reducing the stigma around mental health.
Why? The 8th-14th May is the seventeenth Mental Health Awareness Week, a week run by the Mental Health Foundation, and is used as a platform to help raise awareness and share mental health resources, along with helping to reduce the social stigma around mental health. Did you know that the social stigma around mental health is a key catalyst reported to stop sufferers from addressing their mental health issues and seeking help?
are we surviving or thriving?
To help prompt national conversations this year, the Mental Health Foundation is looking at mental health from a different angle. Rather than asking why so many people are living with mental health related issues, the charity aims to uncover why too few people are thriving with good mental health. This leaves the question, are we surviving or thriving?
Mark Rowland, Mental Health Foundation’s Director of Fundraising and Communications, elaborates on this question and shares his view that surviving or thriving aren’t two ends of a mental health spectrum, but rather they are opposite points on a circle that feed into one another if we let them.
get on board
One in four of us will experience some kind of mental health related problem over the course of a year – which is why the BBC have introduced the #1in4 campaign as part of their Minds Matter mental health season. This season consists of a range of programmes promoted by the BBC to break the stigma around mental health and make it easier for sufferers to talk openly and seek help, see here. The campaign encourages supporters to post selfies holding four fingers with the hashtag #1in4 and has also encouraged high profile celebrities, from Tom Hardy to Russell Brand, to share words of solidarity, encouraging fans to do the same.
“Anxiety and depression are more prevalent than you think. I wanted to get involved with the #1in4 campaign to help people realise they’re not alone. Having mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed about.” Nick Grimshaw, BBC Radio 1 Presenter
share your thoughts
Here at Impero, we will be discussing mental health through our ‘Share your thoughts’ event. This week-long campaign will involve circulating a wellbeing white board throughout the office, encouraging members of the Impero team to share a kind thought or positive message. Our aim is to help break the stigma around mental health and hopefully encourage sufferers to seek help. You can follow our wellbeing whiteboard on our Twitter page and view our event, or even publicise your own, on the Mental Health Foundation activity map.
My Mind and Me
Throughout the year of 2017, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network will be discussing mental health in its year-long campaign My Mind and Me. The campaign aims to tackle issues facing young people in the UK and includes a year-long project following a group of young people and their mental health journeys. This is alongside a monthly hour-long special show by Radio 1’s Surgery, which will focus on different aspects of mental health, inviting listeners to join the conversation and share their own mental health stories.
It kind of made me feel better that this is something a lot of people go through. If I can use what I’ve been through to raise the issue to get people talking then of course I’ll do it.” Adam Deacon, Actor
thrive don’t survive
If you are struggling with your mental health, do not be afraid to ask for help or see the resources below and follow the above campaigns. Remember your mind matters.