Innovative £1.9 Million Partnership to End Mental Health Discrimination in Wales
Posted Monday 13 June 2011
Three leading mental health charities in Wales are granted nearly £2 million for collaboration and joining forces today to challenge the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health problems with the launch of a new national programme.
Time to Change Wales will be led by Gofal, Hafal and Mind Cymru and funded by the Big Lottery Fund Cymru, Comic Relief and the Welsh Government.
The new anti-stigma programme aims to improve attitudes to mental health by building on the success of Time to Change in England, to achieve real and lasting change in Wales.
Time to Change Wales will include three key strands
- High-profile national social marketing and media work to challenge the negative attitudes that can surround mental health, and raise awareness of the campaign
- People with lived experience of mental health problems delivering anti-discrimination training to the people whose attitudes to mental health matter most, including employers and community leaders
- A range of community activities that will bring together people with and without lived experience of mental health problems, to empower people with experience of mental distress to challenge the discrimination they face every day.
Time to Change has been actively working in England since 2007 to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness and improve public knowledge, attitude and behavior around this issue.
The programme has already seen positive change in England, with a 4 percent reduction in reported discrimination and a 2.2 percent improvement in public attitudes since its launch (4).
Ewan Hilton, Chief Executive of Gofal:Experience of stigma and discrimination are stories we hear every day from the people who use our services – experiences that prevent people from seeking help, contribute to people becoming more unwell and prevent people from living fulfilled lives. Yet we know that what drives people to discriminate is built on ignorance and myth.
We are thrilled that with the support of the Welsh Government, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund and in partnership with fellow mental health charities we will be able to change this situation in Wales for the better.
Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of Hafal:Hafal is delighted to be working with our friends in Gofal and Mind Cymru on this exciting initiative. Hafal’s members, people with a serious mental illness and their families, look forward to joining with our partners and others across Wales to build a mass movement of service-users dedicated to removing discrimination.
Lindsay Foyster, Director of Mind Cymru:We know that campaigns to tackle discrimination against people with mental health problems have had real success in England and Scotland through the work done by Time to Change and See Me.
This partnership gives a great opportunity for Wales to build on this work and make a positive difference to the lives of people who experience mental distress.
Recent findings show that:
- 46% of people in Wales think that those who have experienced depression are unsuitable to work as primary school teachers (5)
- 66% of people in Wales would not rent a room in a shared flat to someone with a mental health condition (6)
- Fewer than four in 10 employers would recruit someone with a mental health problem (7)
- Over a quarter of people think that those with mental health problems should not have the same rights to a job as anyone else (7)
- Black people were 40 per cent more likely to be turned away than white people when they asked for help from mental health services (8)
Karen from South Wales:I was employed within the care sector for 10 years when I became ill. My employers and colleagues saw the signs as my depression progressed. Nobody even asked if I was ok, people just shied away from it and I ended up on long term sick and then losing my job.
An anti-stigma campaign could have helped to dispel the myths and fears around mental ill health and start on the path to ending prejudice within the workplace.
To get a flavour of what you can expect to see in Wales, visit Time to Change
Notes for members of the media
For further information, interviews and case studies, please contact
Ruth Coombs at Mind Cymru, on behalf of Time to Change Wales:
- 029 20346575
A bilingual Brand for the campaign will be developed as a priority.
- The Big Lottery Fund has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006. Full details of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are on the Big Lottery Fund website.
- Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and to get the help they need to recover.
Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society. The grant to Time to Change Wales is part of Comic Relief's long-standing commitment to this issue.
- Time to Change Wales is Wales’s national programme to end the discrimination faced by people with mental health problems, and improve the nation’s wellbeing. Mind Cymru, Gofal and Hafal are running the programme, funded with money from the Big Lottery Fund Cymru, Comic Relief and the Welsh Assembly Government.
- Attitudes to mental illness 2010, Department of Health
- Equality and Human Rights Commission Wales (2008), Who do you see? Living together in Wales
- 2010 YouGov poll commissioned by Time to Change. Total sample size was 2,233 adults, of which 112 are from Wales. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18 and 20 August 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults.
- Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health (2009), Working our way to better mental health: a framework for action.
- The Centre for Social Justice (February 2011), Mental Health: Poverty, Ethnicity and Family Breakdown