People sometimes question why we need to focus on the 'stigma of mental illness' when we already have ideas like discrimination and prejudice. People ask; 'Aren't you just inventing a new kind of prejudice that only applies to people with mental health difficulties? Surely it's more important to change laws than change attitudes?'
The Time to change campaign is so so important as many people suffering from mental health problems feel the stigma and discrimination attached to having a mental illness is harder to cope with than the illness itself.
The first form of mental health related stigma I experienced was from my own parents.
When I was first diagnosed with depression, my parents encouraged me to keep it a secret and made it clear they did not want other friends or family members to find out. This made me feel alone and ashamed of how I felt.
My name is Becci and I graduated in Psychology with Counselling last year. I am always trying to find ways of getting more experience in the field and so keep up to date with mental health charities quite regularly, and this summer, volunteered at a Time to Change roadshow event.
My husband and I recently volunteered to help with the Time to Change campaign. It was a bit of a last minute decision. I had heard about Time to Change through the mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness and so I had realised that there was a roadshow coming up near us in Bournemouth. I also knew that they were looking for volunteers to talk to members of the public on the subject of mental health.