FORTY ONE secondary schools from Lanarkshire joined together to
sign the 'see me' Anti-Stigma Pledge on Thursday 2 April 2009.
It will mean there will be more Lanarkshire schools signed up to
the 'see me 'pledge than anywhere else in Scotland. By signing the
'see me' Anti-Stigma Pledge the schools are demonstrating their
commitment to working with 'see me' in tackling the stigma and
discrimination experienced by people with mental health
They follow the excellent example set by seven other Lanarkshire
schools - St Andrews High, St Ambrose High, Coatbridge High,
Rosehall High, Portland High, Drumpark School and Willowbank School
- which became the first schools in Scotland to sign the 'see me'
pledge' on 6 October 2006.
The Lanarkshire 'see me' partnership, which works alongside the
national campaign, is made up of Lanarkshire organisations who
together challenge the stigma associated with mental ill-health and
aim to eliminate the discrimination experienced by those with
mental health problems across Lanarkshire.
One in four Scots will experience a mental health problem at
some stage in their life and recent research carried out by 'see
me' found that 81 per cent of those who do have been stigmatised as
a result, with many saying that the stigma they experience is worse
than the mental health problem itself1. The fear of stigma can
prevent people from taking up opportunities, such as getting
involved in community activities and applying for jobs for which
they would be qualified.
The pledge signing took place at FirPark, Motherwell Football
Club and was attended by a member of the senior management team
from each school and Suzie Vestri, 'see me' Campaign Director.
Suzie Vestri said, "It is excellent that even more schools in
Lanarkshire are showing their support in tackling the stigma
experienced by people with mental health problems. Pupils, parents
and teachers can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and
Lanarkshire schools are taking a lead."
Councillor Jim Logue, Convener of North Lanarkshire Council's
Learning and Leisure Committee said, "Lanarkshire's response to
this campaign is tremendous and I'm delighted that a further 22
North Lanarkshire schools are set to sign up to support the 'see
me' anti-stigma pledge.
"The 'see me' campaign is a great example of how people can come
together to tackle negative attitudes to mental health issues. Not
only that, but by educating our young folk on issues such as this
we're paving the way for future generations to have a greater
understanding of mental health problems and to challenge stigma and
discrimination. I wish the campaign every success."
Councillor Mary Smith, Chair of Education Resources Committee,
South Lanarkshire Council, said "It is very encouraging that young
people are involved in the 'see me' campaign. I hope their
involvement will educate the younger generation about the stigma
faced by people with mental health problems throughout Scotland. A
better understanding of the problems faced by people with mental
health problems will go a long way in helping to eliminate
Tim Davison, Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire said, "I'm
delighted at the overwhelming positive response from Lanarkshire's
schools to supporting the 'see me' campaign. Around one in four
people in Lanarkshire will experience a mental health problem at
some time in their lives. Most can and do go on to recover.
"Unfortunately, negative attitudes from other people can slow
recovery and make problems worse. It is essential we encourage
openness and understanding around the issue and prevent
discrimination of people with mental health problems. We already
have a strong local partnership working to make Lanarkshire a
stigma free zone and by working with local schools we can make even
greater strides in achieving this."
Following the signing of the 'see me' pledge, the schools will
commit to working with 'see me' to challenge stigma and
discrimination and promote mental health and well-being. For
example, they will:
- Promote the use of the Positive Mental Attitudes pack, which is
a mental health resource for schools.
- Set up poster displays around the school to promote the
national 'see me' Campaign and the local Elament website
(Lanarkshire's mental health website
- Use the pupil and parent newsletters to promote specific
campaigns and issues and encourage this information to be discussed
- Highlight to staff, pupils and parents World Mental Health Day
(10 October) and associated events and information.
- Invite mental health and well-being organisations to be
represented on stands at the health fairs at other events
- Invite comment and feedback on mental health and well-being
issues from staff and pupils.
- Offer staff development opportunities including Mental Health
- Provide a range of leaflets and other resources and make them
available in the Library and/or other general access areas.
- Build mental health and wellbeing into any Healthy Working
Lives activities for staff.
- Promote and refer pupils to the school counselling
- Be aware of and promote the protective factors for mental
health such as exercise, self-esteem, resilience and problem
- Have all pupil support teachers and departmental
representatives participate in suicide and / or self harm
prevention training such as SafeTALK or ASIST.
- Have all pupil support teachers complete MindSET mental health
awareness online training and encourage non pupil support staff to
access MindSET training.
- Encourage non pupil support staff to access MindSET mental
health awareness online training.
- Implement the North and South Lanarkshire Self Harm
The following schools will sign the 'see me' pledge on 2
- Bellshill Academy , Bellshill
- Biggar High School , Biggar
- Bothwellpark High School , Mothwerwell
- Braidhurst High, Motherwell
- Brannock High, Newarthill, Motherwell
- Calderglen High School, St. Leonards, East Kilbride
- Calderhead High, Shotts
- Calderside Academy, Blantyre
- Caldervale, Airdrie
- Cardinal Newman High , Bellshill
- Carluke High School , Carluke
- Cathkin High School , Cambuslang
- Chryston High, Chryston
- Clyde Valley High, Wishaw
- Coatbridge High, Coatbridge
- Coltness High, Coltness, Wishaw
- Drumpark School, Coatbridge
- Duncanrig Secondary School, East Kilbride
- Firpark School , Motherwell
- Greenfaulds High, Cumbernauld
- Hamilton Grammar School, Hamilton
- Holy Cross High School, Hamilton
- John Ogilvie High School, Burnbank, Hamilton
- Kilsyth Academy , Ballmalloch, Kilsyth
- Lanark Grammar, Albany Drive Lanark
- Larkhall Academy , Larkhall
- Lesmahagow High School , Lesmahagow
- Our Lady's High, Cumbernauld
- Our Lady's High, Motherwell
- Portland High School, Coatbridge
- Redburn School , Kildrum, Cumbernauld
- St Andr ew's High School, Coatbridge
- St. Aidan's High, Wishaw
- St. Ambrose High, Coatbridge
- St. Andrew's and St. Bride's High School, East Kilbride
- St. Margaret's High, Airdrie
- Strathaven Academy , Strathaven
- Taylor High Carfin Street , New Stevenston, Motherwell
- Victoria Park School , Carluke
- Strathaven Academy , Strathaven
- Uddingston Grammar, Uddingston
1 National Hear Me survey which gathered information from 1,200
respondents about the way in which stigma affects not only those
with mental ill-health, but also the people who support them
including friends, family and carers, August - October 2006.