Tag Archive | campaign

Depression- stigma and discrimination

 Prejudice Ignorance Fear postcard

We all know about the stigma associated with mental illness and depression. We have probably all experienced it or seen it happen. The scale of discrimination against those with mental illness is shameful. The impact of stigma and discrimination upon individuals, communities and society is devastating, so why should we care and what can we do to eradicate it?

By speaking and writing openly and honestly about my experience of depression, I want to help to educate more people about depression and its symptoms and impact on all concerned.  I want to Stop The Ignorance (and) Generate Mental-illness Awareness. I want to de-mystify this illness and correct all those myths which can lead to discrimination.

Membership form

Why should we care?

According to “Stigma Shout” produced by Time To Change, stigma and discrimination;

  • Prevents people from seeking help
  • Delays treatment
  • Impairs recovery
  • Isolates people
  • Excludes people from day-to-day activities
  • stops people getting jobs

So how can you help?

Without doubt this problem is huge and beyond the best intentions of one or two individuals. What we need is for as many people suffering with mental illness to talk about their experiences and provide first hand experience of stigma and discrimination to organisations such as Depression Alliance, Rethink, MIND, Mental Health Media and Time To Change. These organisations fight every day for a fairer deal, more respect and extra support for those with mental illness. Consider being a Time To Change Champion or Rethink Activist.

We need successful people living with depression to come forward and explain how they cope. All those people who are in recovery can stand up and give hope to everyone not quite there yet.

Let us educate and communicate with the general public, family and friends so that they better understand depression and learn to see us, not the illness.

No, it’s not easy, and not everyone reading this will be able to or want to put themselves forward to assist. That’s OK too.

T ime To Change Campaign

BBC Access All Areas-Bi-Polar and Autism “hidden” disabilities

Cllr Robert Inwood speaks out



The Crazy Ones-My “Heroine’s Quest”

Are you a cazy one? Misfit?  Rebel? 

Good, the world needs you.  People probably love you, or hate you…..Good. If you are generating those extreme differences in reaction you are definitely making an impact.  If you are, like me, out to change the world it is no good sitting on the fence. Mediocrity and taking the middle ground doesn’t help. You need to be bold, bright and be gone leaving a trail of constructive havoc in your wake. 

Jack Kerouac, himself an alcoholic depressive, wrote the following tribute to “the crazy ones”…

“Here’s to the crazy ones. the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers. the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of the rules and have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. about the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things, they push the human race forward. and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Am I a rebel, misfit  or troublemaker? Absolutely I am, and I’m even more so when working in cahoots with my good friend Colleen Henerson-Heywood. We do like stirring things up and calling folks to arms. Before I embark on my next campaign however I needed to stand back, take stock, stop chasing my tail and put my ducks in a row.  Easier said than done but that is exactly what I did last night whilst attending an amazing evening of motivational fun and frolics run by Aspire. With the support and inspiration provided by the award-winning Dr Sam Collins and her team, I was yet again spurred into action. I discovered my new “tribe” of like-minded, like-hearted women and together we put the finishing touches to my Heroine’s Quest campaign for 2011. My campaign is no idle threat and I fully intend to deliver on my very public committment which I made in front of 150 people last night. By joining the Aspire Heroine’s Quest programme, I will have access to top quality leadership and coaching support and I will be monitored on a monthly basis to make sure my campaign is a success. So, what is my Campaign?

My Campaign is:            To eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness in general and depression in particular.

Because?                           Everyone deserves a chance.

Why should you care? Because depression is non-discriminatory. Tomorrow it could be you or someone you care about.

Call to action:                  I would like everyone to start talking openly and honestly about mental health issues and experiences of depression. Only in this way will we effect change.

So, there it is in a nutshell, my challenge and campaign for 2011. I hope that some of you will join me on this exciting adventure, or maybe one of your own, so that this time next year we can all say we have made a difference by being a rebel, a misfit or a troublemaker.