Glenn Close joins global call to end mental health stigma

Hollywood actor Glenn Close urges policy makers, communities, and individuals around the world to, “start a new global conversation.... and put mental health on an equal footing to physical health,” in a film launched by Time to Change Global.

The film premiered on World Mental Health Day in front of health leaders from around the world at the Global Mental Health Summit hosted by the UK Government.

Close is joined in the film by campaigners with mental health problems speaking out to address stigma in Africa, India, and the UK who will be working with Time to Change Global to tackle the stigma, discrimination, and shame that still “haunt” mental health. Nadiya Hussain, a previous winner of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ also features, sharing her experiences of panic attacks and stigma.

With funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Comic Relief, Time to Change Global have joined forces with international disability and mental health NGO CBM, to launch a major new initiative that will tackle stigma and discrimination around mental health in Africa and Asia. The programme will work with local organisations and people with lived experience to promote understanding of mental health and challenge prejudice across the Commonwealth to combat mental health stigma. The campaigns will kick off next year with pilots in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda

Glenn Close narrates the film, explaining the scale and relevance of this global issue and calling for change: “Mental health problems know no boundaries – it affects all ages, all income groups, and all cultures. If you don’t struggle yourself, then someone you care about probably does. Let’s start a new global conversation about mental health that takes root in all of our communities so that, wherever you live in the world, there isn’t any shame attached to mental health.”

The film highlights the realities of mental health stigma in different parts of the world.

Contributors share their own experience of the stigma attached to mental health problems and how they are working to tackle it.

Sanchana (23) from New Delhi, who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar, shares her story in the film:  “I want everyone in my country to realise mental health is not a western idea. Mental health is a part of human existence and not anyone’s fault. Because look, if you have a brain, you have mental health to be taken care of.”

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change Global, said “We are sharing a very clear message with Health Ministers, campaigners and experts today. Mental health stigma affects every country and every community. The voices and experiences of those of us with lived experience of mental health problems are the most effective way to improve public attitudes and behaviour.  Now is the time for more global effort to combat stigma.”

Watch the Time to Change Global film.

Time to Change Global logo

About Time to Change Global

Time to Change Global is a growing global movement to combat mental health stigma and discrimination, with a focus on low and lower middle income Commonwealth countries. We believe wherever you live in the world, there should be no shame attached to mental health issues. Our voice is stronger and louder thanks to funding by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Comic Relief. Our campaign is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

For more information, visit our global web pages.