Mental health problems are common – but nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. This can be even worse than the symptoms themselves. Time to Change is England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.
Time to Change have funded projects that create opportunities for people with mental health problems to share their experiences with the public in informal one-to-one conversations. One of those projects is “Let’s Talk” run by Derby Women’s Centre in partnership with Communities Inc.
All Time to Change projects were funded to deliver the following outcomes:
- Outcome 1: Improve public attitudes and behaviour towards mental health issues which will lead to more people facing less discrimination in relation to their mental health
- Outcome 2: Improve the confidence and ability of people with mental health problems to take action to tackle stigma and discrimination
- Outcome 3: Improve the confidence of people with mental health problems to engage in and contribute to the life of their community
The Let’s Talk project sought to meet these outcomes by recruiting, supporting and training 21 women with lived experience of mental health problems as Time to Change Champions. We helped Champions to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to take action against the stigma of mental health. They were supported to develop their own action plans to achieve social contact with members of the public with no prior experience of mental health, thereby changing public attitudes and behaviours to mental health issues. This was done in a wide variety of settings and with different groups of people (including employers, community groups, and students).
On Saturday 7th March 2015, our Champions officially hit their project target for engaging in conversations about mental health at the International Women’s Day celebrations in Derby City centre! They have now achieved 1726 conversations, which far exceeds their goal of 1470 over the project lifetime.
You can access the Let’s Talk Good Practice resource here .