Understanding difference in influence and participation work
Mind has a long-standing history of supporting people facing multiple discrimination. We've fought against discrimination caused by negative attitudes towards people with mental health problems.
And we also fight against discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, sexuality, disability or socio-economic background.
It's essential that people's rights are protected, regardless of these characteristics. Everyone must be treated fairly, equally, with dignity and respect.
For people with mental health problems, their lived experience should not put them at a disadvantage to others. Rather than devalue them, their experiences enhance what they have to offer.
Why is difference important in lived experience work?
Understanding different communities and cultures and their perspectives on mental health is vitally important. There's a taboo around mental health in many cultures which can add an extra layer of distress.
Stigma in these communities can often be worse than the mental health problem itself. Engaging in a meaningful way with people in diverse and minority communities, and empowering them to influence and participate, can help break down barriers.
Case study: How it works in practice
Mind, in partnership with Suffolk Mind, took part in a project to better engage with Muslim groups. The aim was to meet their emotional needs in a culturally appropriate way.
This project helped develop The Qur'an and Emotional Health: An Introduction booklet.
Jonathan, who has autism, became involved with Mind's work in disability equality after writing an article about autism and anxiety.
In the video below, Jonathan talks about his experience of taking part in Mind's work and influencing campaigns.
Diversity and difference top tips
Read our diversity and difference top tips to help you think more about embracing and engaging with diversity.