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Deputy Prime Minister gives seal of approval for Time to Change
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has hosted a reception to mark the achievements of the ambitious Time to Change programme, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.
The doors at Admiralty House were opened yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 17 January), where the Deputy Prime Minister was joined by celebrities including cricketer Marcus Trescothick, broadcaster and TV presenter Fiona Phillips, TV presenter Trisha Goddard and writer and communicator Alastair Campbell, together with other supporters. Since launching in 2007 with funding from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and Comic Relief, Time to Change has built up the support of more than 89,000 people and the Deputy Prime Minister thanked everyone who has backed the campaign.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:
“Time to Change has been instrumental in changing attitudes to mental health across the country. This success has only come about because of those who have put so much energy into backing the campaign and been so brave in coming forward with their own very personal and sometimes harrowing stories. It is only thanks to their courage in speaking out that we can encourage others to do the same. I'm very pleased to support the campaign and to have had the opportunity to thank some of those involved in making such a difference.
“Challenging attitudes and behaviour is essential if we are to ensure that people with mental health problems feel able to talk openly about their illness, just like other physical illnesses.”
Time to Change was established in 2007 with funding from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and Comic Relief. Since then, as well as improvements to public attitudes, there has been a four per cent reduction in the discrimination that people with mental health problems report equating to an estimated 23,500 more people living their lives free from discrimination compared to at the start of the campaign .
However, new statistics launched today show there is still a long way to go:
- Only 15% of the British public admit to being truthful all of the time about how they’re really feeling
- Younger people between 18 and 24 years are twice as likely (27%) to hide how they’re feeling compared to those aged 65 and over (12%)
- Further results show, a third of people confess the reason they’re not always honest is because they don’t want to depress other people (37%) or don’t like talking about how they’re feeling (35%).
Today, the next part of the Time to Change campaign – called ‘It’s time to talk. It’s time to change’ – is launched. In Time to Change’s first phase, its aim was to change adult’s attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems. This was done through social marketing campaigns, community engagement and targeted work with professionals and employers. Now Time to Change has received further funding from the Department of Health and Comic Relief to continue its groundbreaking work until 2015. This will include a focus on tackling stigma amongst children and young people. In addition a new grant fund for 75 local community-led projects will be launched, and targeted work with black and minority communities starting with a focus on the African Caribbean community.
Director of Time to Change, Sue Baker, said:
"Today’s reception, with the recognition and support of the Deputy Prime Minster, marks a major milestone for Time to Change. Over the last four years we’ve started to witness changes in public attitudes and more importantly behaviour. However, none of this would have been possible without the thousands of people with mental health problems across England who have spoken out to combat the stigma that still plagues mental health; the funding and support of the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief; and the wide range of organisations that have added their voice to this movement.
“We have proved that change is possible. Over the next four years, with further funding from the Government and Comic Relief, our movement will work with new audiences including young people; one in ten children are affected by mental health problems, and sadly with that comes the terrible burden of stigma. We must make sure that people of all ages and in all communities feel able to openly discuss mental health issues with ease and the expectation of support and understanding. It will take more than a few years to overturn decades of prejudice - this is the work of a generation.”
Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said:
“I am very proud of the partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and Time to Change in its hugely successful first phase. The £16million investment through our Well-being programme has enabled Time to Change to make real inroads in successfully challenging mental health stigma and discrimination. I am also pleased to see that in recognition of the progress made, Time to Change's work will continue, sustained by the Government and other funders. I look forward to seeing the campaign build on the foundations that BIG has funded in the years ahead."
Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow, said:
"One in four of us will experience some form of mental health problem during our lives. Unfortunately, people often have to cope with stigma and discrimination alongside their condition, in their families, their classrooms and their work places.
"Time to Change is already making a big difference. The new campaign inviting people to talk about their experiences and open up about how they are feeling can help fight negative attitudes people have towards mental health conditions.”
Comic Relief Chief Executive, Kevin Cahill, said:
"Comic Relief has a long term commitment to improving services for people with mental health problems and challenging stigma and discrimination around this issue which has the potential to affect anybody. Our second grant to Time to Change to cover the next four years of work will mean they can continue to make progress in changing public attitudes to mental health."
Time to Change supporter, Marcus Trescothick, said:
"Time to Change has done an amazing job at challenging the stigma that surrounds mental health problems. The reception is credit to this programme and I hope we can continue to work together to ensure more people are able to speak out about their mental illness, just like I did."
Jonny Wilkinson has also written a blog for the Time to Change website documenting his battle with mental health problems. In the blog, Jonny comments on how he was feeling “My obsessiveness had vacated rugby completely and started to drive my thoughts downwards, tossing endless dark, nasty images through my head”. To read the full blog please visit www.time-to-change.org.uk
Notes to Editors
Time to Change
Time to Change is England's most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief. It has built a movement of over 89,000 individuals (the majority have mental health problems themselves) and hundreds of organisations as diverse as the Premier League, BT, Eon, Universities and the NHS who have pledged their support alongside high profile celebrities including those attending the reception.
For more information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk
Department of Health
On 2 February 2011 the Department of Health launched No health without mental health, a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages which has the twin aims of keeping people well and improving their mental health and, when people are not well, improving their outcomes through high-quality services.
The strategy is based on six shared objectives, developed with partners from across the mental health sector, and focuses on ‘Recovery’ and the reduction of stigma and discrimination as overarching themes.
To help deliver the objective to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, in 2011 the Department agreed to support Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The Department of Health is providing the campaign with up to £16 million of funding together with a further £4 million from Comic Relief. This funding will help Time to Change continue their work until March 2015.
Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and get the help they need to recover. Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society. The £4 million grant to Time to Change is the second time the charity has awarded Time to Change its largest UK grant and is part of Comic Relief's long standing commitment to this issue. For more information go to www.comicrelief.com
Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) supported the first phase of the Time to Change campaign with a £16million grant from its £160m Well-being programme. The largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has awarded over £4.4bn to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since 2004. For full details of BIG’s work visit: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk