Target: Time to Change, a mental health collaborative in the United Kingdom
Goal: Praise mental health collaborative in the UK for their work in reducing mental health stigmas among the public, and encourage them to reach healthcare professionals next.
In 2007, two charities in England came together to form a campaign called Time to Change. Their agenda: to reduce stigma and raise awareness and support for people with mental health disorders. Time to Change has developed videos and flyers, community events, and targeted programs. These programs have included spotlighting leaders who have had experience with mental health problems, improving media reporting and representation of mental health issues, and improving policies and practices.
A study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry recently reported significant improvements in discrimination, as measured by the those taking advantage of mental health services themselves. When interviewed, these people reported noticeable changes in the attitudes of friends, family and people in social situations, as well as feeling more empowered to talk about their conditions and the need to get help.
One group that showed little change, however, was the mental health professionals themselves. Only a statistically insignificant decrease occurred. Suggestions offered for this phenomenon are that the outreach was targeted at the general public, and second, the healthcare professionals may see the ads and assume they already know about the issue, without reconsidering their stance.
Either way, it’s important to say thank you to the people running Time to Change for their progress in this important endeavor, and to encourage them to reach out to healthcare professionals next. This will allow those with mental health disorders who are getting help for the first time to get the highest quality of care.
Dear Time to Change Collaborators,
As the leaders of Time to Change, you are to be commended for the results you have produced to support and uplift those who are mentally ill and their communities. The landmark study recently published by the British Journal of Psychiatry reflects these results, and, as reported in The Guardian, the only community not significantly impacted was the healthcare professionals themselves. Given the powerful media and programs you have produced this far, we are certain this community can be addressed as well.
I urge you to continue your work in the UK and extend your campaign to healthcare professionals, as it has benefits that extend globally, as we all seek to be free from negative stigmas which keep people from receiving the care they need to live healthy, happy and full lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc.