Meera Syal“Mental health problems are common and affect people from all walks of life and all communities across England including the South Asian community. This is why I am supporting Time to Change's work in this area. Meera Syal

Research carried out by Time to Change partner, Rethink Mental Illness into attitudes towards mental illness in the South Asian community shows that mental illness is a taboo subject for the South Asian community in Harrow as it is for the population as a whole. However it explores some attitudes specific to the South Asian community. These key issues are:

  • Shame, or sharam, fear and secrecy surround mental illness
  • The causes of mental health problems are often misunderstood
  • The family can be both caring and isolating
  • Social pressure to conform
  • People with mental health problems are not valued
  • Marriage prospects can be damaged

Download the full report

Download a one page overview

The report helped us to develop a campaign addressing stigma and discrimination within the South Asian community in Harrow, London.  The campaign included community events, working with community groups and leaders to start conversations about mental health, as well as advertising and media activity in Harrow.  It reached over 4000 people in Harrow, and 67% of people who saw the campaign claimed to have improved their opinions of people with mental health problems as a result.

Download a summary report of the campaign activity and evaluation