Throughout the month of May events will be taking place around the country as part of the See Change campaign to help end the stigma surrounding mental health. As well as these events there is also the Green Ribbon which is being worn during the month as well. 500,000 will be distributed nationwide free of charge as a visual symbol to end the stigma surrounding mental health difficulties.
#TimeToTalk about Mental Health
Mental health is an area that has been in the news a lot lately. Some of the stats around the area of mental health show that it’s something that impacts on a wide range of people:
- Mental health problems account for up to 30% of consultations with GPs in Europe
Digging deeper into these figures from an Irish context shows the impact mental health has:
- Approximately half (52%) have had some experience of people with mental health problems
- Around 11,000 episodes of deliberate self-harm presenting at hospital A&E departments each year
While these figures themselves are alarming what’s also worrying is that 62% would not want others knowing if they themselves had a mental health problem. The stigma makes it difficult for Irish people to discuss mental health issues. In some worrying trends, recent research has found:
- Two-thirds of people said being treated for a mental health issue was a sign of personal failure.
The stigma associated with mental health is one of the biggest barriers to seeking help. This is where the Green Ribbon
The importance of the Green Ribbon
Through the Green Ribbon, Green Ribbon Events and #TimeToTalk (see below for more) these campaigns play an important role in helping to end the stigma and in turn give people the confidence to start talking about mental health, as often this is the first step but can often be most challenging step people take.
The team here at ICHAS will be wearing our Green Ribbons throughout the month of May. If you want to find out more about this check out the See Change Website. You can also get a Green Ribbon to show your support as well. It’s a small gesture but could make a big difference to someone in helping them to take that first step and to talk.