Stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues will be challenged by a collaboration of leading mental health charities in Wales. Time to Change Wales will be the new national program led by the charities Gofal, Hafal, and Mind Cymru. Nearly £2 million will be granted to the program by the Big Lottery Fund Cymru, Comic Relief and the Welsh Government.
There are three key areas of focus for this strategy. The first is high-profile national and social marketing and media work. The second is to have people with lived experience of a mental health issue deliver anti-discrimination training to the people whose attitudes to mental health matter most. The third is to have a range of community activities that will bring together and empower those with lived experience.
The goal of Time to Change is to improve attitudes to mental health. The Welsh program will build on the success of Time to Change in England, where there has been a four per cent reduction in reported discrimination and a 2.2 per cent improvement in public attitudes since its launch. Some recent findings show that 46 per cent of people in Wales think that those who have experienced depression are unsuitable to work as primary school teachers, fewer than four in ten employees would recruit someone with a mental health condition, and over 25 per cent of people think that those with mental health conditions should not have the same rights to a job as anyone else.
See the Medical News Today article, “Innovative £1.9 million Partnership To End Mental Health Discrimination In Wales”, June 13, 2011, available atwww.medicalnewstoday.com.
To find out more on Time to Change, see www.time-to-change.org.uk.