The Lanarkshire Movement For Change partnership includes the likes of community groups, churches, NHS Lanarkshire, North and South Lanarkshire Councils, North and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships and local businesses.
Well over 400 organisations in Lanarkshire have pledged their support so far and the hope is this will reach the 500 mark in the coming weeks and months.
Representatives from many of these organisations joined those who have experience of mental health problems, at an event in Strathclyde Country Park to further underline their commitment to ending mental health stigma and discrimination.
The event also saw an expansion of Lanarkshire Movement For Change as individuals are now also being invited to show their support for the movement.
NHS Lanarkshire chair, Neena Mahal, said: “Stigma remains a significant barrier to achieving a mentally flourishing Lanarkshire, as it prevents people seeking support, hinders their recovery, limits opportunity, and negatively impacts on the quality of life of individuals’, their families and communities.
“This is why we would encourage individuals, employers, service providers, and community partners to pledge their commitment to this movement and make stigma around mental health a thing of the past.”
This was echoed by Bobby Miller, head of adult social work services, Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, who said: “We’re delighted to be signing the ‘Stigma Free Lanarkshire and Suicide Safer North Lanarkshire pledge’ and making a commitment as an employer, service provider, and community partner, to end negative attitudes to mental health issues.
“The Health and Social Care Action Plan is a commitment to promote and protect the mental health and wellbeing of all employees and sustain the rights of people with mental health problems.”
Dr Chris Mackintosh, medical director, South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “One in four people in Lanarkshire will experience a mental health problem at some stage in their life so most people will know someone who is, or has, experienced mental health issues.
“This is why it’s important that we all take time to challenge some of the negative perceptions around mental health that still exist.”
Calum Irving, programme director of the group See Me Scotland, said: “For See Me it is vital that action is taken locally to remove the stigma around mental health and support people to realise their rights.
“That’s why today’s launch of Stigma Free Lanarkshire is such an important development that we are pleased to support.”
If you would like to join the Lanarkshire Movement for Change and help end the stigma associated with mental ill-health visit Elament at:
Pictures from the event can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/134415530@N02/
For more information on mental health in Lanarkshire visit www.elament.org.uk
If you would like to know more about the national See Me programme www.seemescotland.org
Avril Cutler, Development Officer, Lanarkshire Recovery Network
(t) 01698 265232 (e) Avril.LRN@lanarkshirelinks.org.uk
Rosie Line, Support Officer, Lanarkshire Movement for Change
(t) 01698 265232 (e) Rosie.LRN@lanarkshirelinks.org.uk