Katie's Diary

Discrimination and Stigma of Mental Health

10th October 2014

As World Mental Health Day approaches, it is time everyone works together to remove the negativity and stigma that surrounds the issue of mental health.

One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and this could be down to a variety of reasons that stem from concerns about a job to a life changing experience.

This international focus has brought together groups across the UK who think like ubu, that we must end the discrimination and stigma that blights the lives of people with mental health problems.

Ignorance is a very sad thing and it is simply ignorance that causes people to treat those whose lives are affected by mental health with taunts, or shun them.

That is why ubu through our uStep model of support has worked so hard to put the people we serve at the heart of their local communities so they can make a contribution and lead very full and independent lives.

It is only if people see the people we serve on a day to day basis that everyone can  fully understand they should be at the heart of  society.  Additionally this is beneficial for everyone in society.  As well as seeing the great contribution that the people we serve make to their communities through the work they do, the social groups they join and support they give, society also receives a value premium.

The cost of caring for a vulnerable adult in  long term hospital care or a high dependency unit can be as much as £6,000 per person per week.  That is the economics of madness when you consider the cost of caring for one of the people we serve is far less as they live independent lives in  their own communities.

World Mental Health Day is a great chance to focus on the subject but everyday the people we serve make a difference in their own communities.  For Macmillan Cancer Care recently we raised over £800 for the charity at our own coffee morning.  We don’t need a special day to let people know that we are making a very real difference but if it makes one person think differently about the issue, then it is worth the effort.

The beauty of the uStep model is that we listen to the people we serve, our enablers understand the problems or trauma that’ve gone through and ultimately we help them to recover and build a happy and fulfilling life so that they never have to feel alone again.

We’ve seen and heard cases that are harrowing not just of because of the individual story but because of the sheer lack of help and support that an individual has NOT received. 

Society in general has stereotyped views about mental illness and how it affects people. Many people believe that people with mental ill health are violent and dangerous, when in actual fact they are more at risk of being attacked or harming themselves than harming other people. It’s not nice and something desperately needs to be done to eradicate that stereotype

No one should ever feel alone or feel like they’ve got no one to turn to. No one should be made to feel like a criminal when all they need is support and somebody to speak to. Lets end the stigma now and ensure everyone sees a brighter future.

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Discrimination and Stigma of Mental Health

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