Response to NHS report Attitudes to Mental Illness
Posted Wednesday 8 June 2011
Mind and Rethink respond to the release of NHS Information Centre report Attitudes to Mental Illness — 2011 survey report.
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, England’s national anti-discrimination campaign led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, said:
The findings present a mixed picture of public attitudes towards mental health issues in England with some improvements over the last year as well as less progress with other statements.
Changing social norms and public attitudes and behaviour is a long term goal that will need continued efforts and investment for many years to come.
We have been tracking the impact of the Time to Change campaign on our core target audience and have seen more improvements amongst the general public when they are aware of the campaign.
We have started to drive more open disclosure of mental heath problems as a way of improving public attitudes, so it is encouraging to see more people have said they would be willing to talk to their family and friends and to their employer about mental health problems.
As well as a focus on improving public attitudes and increased disclosure we need to continue to focus on improving the way the public are behaving towards those of us with mental health problems.
It will be important to compare the next set of data from the Viewpoint survey of experienced discrimination with this latest data on public attitudes to see if the reported discrimination has changed over the same time period.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
These latest figures show that some significant progress has been made around tackling stigma and discrimination but shifting people’s perceptions of mental health is the task of a generation.
It is clear that the Time To Change campaign is hitting home amongst its target audience, with those who have seen the campaign showing a more enlightened attitude towards mental health.
However, there is still a long way to go and these findings are a reminder that this is a challenge which won’t be solved overnight but which it is essential we overcome.
Paul Jenkins, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:
Whilst we welcome the improvement in attitudes, there is still some way to go towards acceptance than people with a mental illness should be treated in the same way as someone with a physical health problem.
Even more important than people’s attitudes is tangible behaviour change.
As part of Time to Change, we are tracking people’s actual experiences of stigma and discrimination and the early signs are that behaviour has changed for the better.
What really matters is whether people are able to work and socialise like anyone else rather than being barred from everyday life because they have a mental illness.
Read Attitudes to Mental Illness - 2011 survey report and associated documents.
Notes for members of the media
For interview requests please contact Jenny Tudor in the Time to Change Press Office.
- 0208 2152 358
- 07789 721 966
- Time to Change is England’s most ambitious programme to end the discrimination faced by people with mental health problems, and improve the nation’s wellbeing.
Mind and Rethink are leading the programme, funded with £16m from the Big Lottery Fund and £4.5m from Comic Relief, and evaluated by the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London.
- The Big Lottery Fund’s support for Time to Change comes from its £165m Wellbeing programme.
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.
Big Lottery Fund Press Office:
- Media: 020 7211 1888
- Media out of hours: 07867 500 572
- Public enquiries: 08454 102030
- Textphone: 08456 021 659
- Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure that 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 £4.5 million grant to Time to Change is part of Comic Relief's long standing commitment to this issue.