Our pilot campaign featuring The Stand Up Kid film is aimed at stamping out stigma faced by young people affected by mental health problems in the West Midlands.

Time to Change is England’s leading national anti-stigma programme run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Stand Up Kid is released alongside shocking new research that shows nearly one in ten1 young people in the West Midlands think that classmates with a mental health problem should not be at their school. The same proportion of respondents in the survey also feel that they would stop being friends with a peer who had a mental health problem.

These new figures reveal just how prevalent the stigma of mental health problems is among this young age group (14 to 18 year olds).

Time to Change research also shows that nine out of 10 young people who have mental health problems2 in the West Midlands are affected by stigma and have experienced negative treatment as a result of their mental illness. Often much of the discrimination they face comes from those they might need to turn to first including friends (66%), parents (54%) and also teachers/lecturers (49%).2

The new film is part of a wider pilot campaign that was launched in June to encourage young people in the West Midlands to tackle the taboo around mental health. The Stand Up Kid will inspire young people in the West Midlands, particularly those who have no understanding of mental health problems, to change their attitudes towards others who are affected.

Michael Crump, aged 18 from Birmingham said:

I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 13 and have faced all types of stigma over the years. Mainly, other classmates making fun of me and the symptoms of my illness. It had a huge effect on my confidence and can be one of the hardest parts of dealing with a mental health problem.

Many young people pick on you because they don’t understand and it can be really difficult to explain unless you’ve been through it yourself. Stand Up Kid will help to spread the message that mental health problems are the same as any other illness – you need help and support to recover.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said:

We know that attitudes around mental health are formed at an early age and it’s so important that we reach young people before their views become entrenched. Unfortunately, these statistics shows how many have already formed negative attitudes towards peers with mental health problems and this is something we desperately need to change.

This is particularly crucial because around half of mental health problems start as a teenager. It's hard enough for them going through mental health issues without being rejected by friends and classmates.”

The 18 month West Midlands pilot project will include work with local schools to deliver a curriculum-led competition, an education programme co-delivered by young people with a mental illness and their parents, community events such as a ‘pop up village’ and community projects, funded by Time to Change grants, that will bring young people with and without mental health problems together in order to tackle stereotyped views.

To watch The Stand Up Kid click here

To find out more about the Children and Young People campaign >>


For more information please contact Larissa Abl, Time to Change Senior PR Officer, on larissa.abl@rethink.org or 020 7840 3137. Follow Larissa on Google+.

Notes to Editors

1 SPA Future Thinking conducted face to face and online interviewing, on knowledge and attitudes around mental health, on behalf of Time to Change, among 1,026 young people, aged 14 – 18 years, and 1,207 adults in contact with children, in the West Midlands. The fieldwork took place during 20th March –20th July 2012.

2 Time to Change survey conducted online using SurveyMonkey. The survey was online between 1st August and 23rd August 2012 and was completed by a total of 186 young people in the West Midlands under the age of 25 and who have experienced a mental health problem. A link to the survey was distributed widely via TTC Facebook fans, on Twitter and via other charity networks.

Stand Up Kid campaign – what’s happening in the West Midlands?

Train the Trainer

The education programme is aimed at professionals, volunteers, youth and community leaders in the West Midlands who work with young people (aged 11-25) and their families. A free four hour training package will equip them with guidance and materials around tackling the stigma around mental health in order for them to pass it on to the young people they work with.

Schools campaign

Time to Change are working will with local schools across the West Midlands to deliver a, curriculum-led schools competition to encourage young people come up with their own creative ideas to tackle the taboo around mental health.

Pop Up Village

The Time to Change village green will make its way to the centre of Birmingham on 26th October for one day only. An internet cafe, a library, a post office, a cinema, and a youth club will take over the city centre to raise awareness around the stigma that many people with mental health problems face.

Local grants

Time to Change will be tackling mental health stigma and discrimination through awarding local grants to community led youth projects in the West Midlands. Two grants have been awarded so far with more planned in the future:

  1. Mis-understanding’ run by BRAP in partnership with Youth Space - This project will bring together young people with and without personal experience of mental health problems to explore the negative language often used around mental health, with a specific focus on young people from BME communities. Interactive resources will be developed and young people will be trained as learning mentors, using the resources in schools, youth clubs, and voluntary organisations to start conversations about mental health.
  2. COPE Black Mental Health Foundation in partnership with ENTA - 10 young people from BME communities, who have mental health problems, will work together with 10 young people without mental health problems to record a CD which sums up some of their thoughts and feelings about mental health. The project will then take the CD into schools and youth groups, using it to start conversations about mental health with the young people's peers.


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.

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

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