Education Not Discrimination
The Education Not Discrimination (END) project was the element of Time To Change, run by Rethink Mental Illness, that targeted key audiences who have a significant impact on the lives of people with mental health problems.
I think that I have become more aware of the problems faced by people with mental health problems and their families. This will help me in the future.
Audiences that END has worked to educate:
- medical school students;
- trainee teachers;
- trainee headteachers;
- school social inclusion officers;
- staff in GP surgeries.
Why these audiences?
Third year medical students have not yet specialised in their chosen stream of medicine and could become any type of medical doctor, which is important as we're aiming to have an impact on doctors in all areas of medicine. This is also the first time psychiatry is included in their training.
Working with teachers will be the first step in promoting a change in their attitudes and those of young people to stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health problems. Our Stigma Shout survey questioned over 3,000 people – both those who had experienced mental health problems and carers. The survey found that many respondents highlighted schools as an important place to target with anti-stigma campaigns.
END includes training on mental health problems for teachers as well as for their students. Teaching is one of the most stressful occupations with one in three teachers experiencing mental health problems according to the National Union of Teachers (Mental Health Foundation/ Press Association, 2007).
Headteachers are in an ideal position to champion change within their school and profession. It is important to train senior teachers who already have an awareness of mental health within a school environment. Our aim is to provide our training within one of the modules for the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).
Social Inclusion Officers
Social Inclusion Officers are senior teachers with pastoral care responsibilities within schools. They are trained at local authority level at Inclusion Managers’ meetings and can influence Locality Governance Boards (soon to become 'Children's Locality Trusts). Through these boards they can have a positive impact on local services for young people, including mental health services.
How do we train them?
We use a social contact approach, with training co-delivered by people with direct experience of mental health problems, thereby normalising and humaninsing the subject. Research consistently shows that social contact is one of the most effective means of tackling stigma and discrimination.
Training sessions are tailored for the needs and learning styles of each group. We use a combination of role play, personal testimony, lectures, drama and mental health awareness training.
“Patients and carer inputs were more useful than text books or consultant viewpoints.”
Involving people with experience of mental health problems
We involve service users and carers in every step of the programme from development to delivery.
We are committed to providing initial training and ongoing support for service users and carers (Involvement Workers) who take part in the training. We have a dedicated Senior Involvement Officer who is in touch with the involvement workers regularly, and whom they can contact if they need support.
Sign up for email updates to keep up to date with all our latest news, campaigns, events and projects.