Mental health challenges have affected my employment (and employability) ever since I was unceremoniously discharged from the army following a dramatic breakdown at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Within hours I was hospitalised and subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia aged just eighteen.
Mark Brown recently wrote a post on the topic of stigma. Stigma surrounding mental health problems is rife in society. Challenging the stigma of mental health problems within society is one of the aims of Time to Change. However, how do we challenge the stigma of our own mental health problems in ourselves?
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.