Since Time to Change started in 2007, we’ve reached millions of people across England and begun to improve attitudes and behaviour towards those of us with mental health problems. Our national surveys show the overall attitude trend between 2008 and 2014 was positive with a 8.3% change according to analyses led by Dr Claire Henderson and Professor Graham Thornicroft from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London – that’s 3.4 million people with improved attitudes.
Over the same time period we've seen fewer people experiencing discrimination, and when they do, it’s affecting fewer areas of their lives. A Time to Change commissioned survey of people accessing specialist mental health services showed that between 2008 and 2014 there was a 5.6% increase in those reporting no discrimination in any life area, such as relationships or work. Average levels of reported discrimination fell from 41.6% to 28.4%. Some of the biggest reductions in discrimination have come from the changed behaviour of family and friends which were the most commonly reported areas of discrimination.
Although the overall trend has been one of positive improvement, there have been fluctuations between years. Our national survey for 2015 found that attitudes had dropped back by 4% since 2014. This corresponded with a dip in people’s awareness of Time to Change.
We will continue to collect national data on attitudes, behaviour and reported discrimination at key points during the next five years of our programme. This will enable us to continue to look beyond the annual data to see if over the long term we’ve continued our track record of changing how millions think and act about mental health.
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