£20m boost for campaign to tackle mental health stigma

Care services minister Paul Burstow has announced a £20m boost for the Time to Change campaign to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.

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The Time to Change campaign to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination has received a £20m boost to enable it to continue until 2015.

The campaign, headed by charities Mind and Rethink, will receive £16m from the Department of Health and £4m from Comic Relief, in an announcement timed to coincide with today’s World Mental Health Day.

“Coping with a mental health condition is difficult enough without the added burden of overcoming discrimination too,” said care services minister Paul Burstow. “That’s why I am committing up to £16 million over the next three and a half years to Time to Change to help fight the negative attitudes people have towards mental health conditions.”

Time to Change launched in 2007, and in 2010 reported a reduction from 91% to 87% in the proportion of people with mental health problems experiencing any discrimination.

The organisation estimated this means as many as 23,500 more people than at the start of the campaign are living their lives free from discrimination.

As part of the next phase of its campaign, it plans to set up a specialist service aimed at changing the way mental health is represented in the media, continue its advertising and marketing activity and launch a grants scheme to fund groups that bring service users together.

Other announcements marking World Mental Health Day include:

The launch by Combat Stress of a Comic Relief-funded campaign to tackle mental health stigma among military veterans; the charity said that stigma prevents hundreds of veterans from seeking help.

●The launch of the UK’s first Mental Health Hero awards to recognise those who have contributed to the field by mental health information website Mental Healthy. Categories include Community Hero, Professional Hero, Business Hero and Creative Hero. Nominations are open until 10 December.

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