Nearly nine out of ten people who experience a mental health issue say they face stigma and discrimination as a result, according to Time to Change, an anti-stigma campaign run by leading mental health charities in England. To address this issue, Time to Change is hosting its second edition of Time to Talk Day on February 5, 2015. The initiative aims to get teachers, students and parents talking about mental health in order to reduce stigma in British schools. Time to Talk will involve five-minute conversations, in assemblies, study groups or classes during the day. It will engage community organizations by distributing resources and raising awareness about the free resources available on the Time to Change website.
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario also encourages dialogue around mental health conditions with the goal of dispelling misconceptions and stigma. CMHA Ontario introduced Mental Health Week (MHW) in 1951 to raise awareness of mental illness in Canada.
MHW today offers people practical ways to maintain and improve their mental health and support their recovery from mental illness. It also encourages Canadians to reflect on their attitudes and behaviours toward people living with mental health conditions and recognize that we all have a role to play in reducing discrimination.
The next Mental Health Week will be May 4-10, 2015. Stay tuned to find out how you can get involved!