Open Up Challenges Mental Health Discrimination in Birmingham
Over 150 people attended a conference in Birmingham this week to challenge the discrimination around mental health.
Challenging Discrimination Together took place at Jury's Inn in Birmingham on Monday 14th June. The fun packed day brought together people from all over England to share ideas and advice at a grassroots level.
Mental Health discrimination is one of the major barriers that people who have personal experience of a mental health problem face in their daily lives. It comes in many forms and can affect job prospects, health outcomes and relationships with family and friends.
Open Up, part of the Time to Change programme, supports people with experience of mental distress to challenge mental health discrimination at a grassroots level. The project's work is led by people with lived experience of mental health issues and provides training, networking and mentoring opportunities where people can share skills and resources and develop their ideas.
The morning kicked off at 10.30am with opening remarks from mental health user trainer and consultant Tina Coldham, who also acted as the conference chair. The day continued with a special screening of short films from Open Up, Time to Change, and two pieces made by Open Up Initiatives, including John Church's animation Life Without Substance, and music from another Open Up initiative Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the band Growing Minds.
A panel discussion took place in the afternoon to debate the key issues in the future of the anti-discrimination movement. Workshops also took place throughout the day and topics included challenging discrimination in your community, getting your message across in the media, BME media portrayals and project management skills.
Brigid Morris, Open Up Project Manager, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people come together to discuss how we fight the battle against mental health discrimination. I hope that an exciting day was had by all and want to thank everyone for their ideas and input.
“Open Up believes that raising awareness about mental health is the best way to confront stereotypes and tackle prejudice for which events such as this are vital. The project works with people who want to speak out against discrimination in positive and constructive ways, giving them the tools and the confidence they need to put their plans into action."
For more information contact Helen Davies on 020 8215 2364 or visit