The Big Question

Should more be done to tackle the stigma of mental health problems?

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
There are ways to destigmatise mental health problems and these should be deployed to the full. It seems to me that an initial big campaign should be followed by drip-feed campaigns, ie little and often. The anti-Aids campaigns made a huge difference to begin with, but lack of follow-up meant that the message lost awareness to some degree. 

Shaun Webster – Change self advocacy group
People with mental health problems have less human rights than anyone else, sometimes even less than people with learning difficulties.  More money should be put into changing the attitudes that cause people with mental health problems to be treated so badly. It feels like the government isn’t committed to this.

Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic children
My family has made friends through raising awareness of the problems we face. The TV documentary Safe as Houses followed our family relocation to find provision for our two autistic sons.  Parents touched by disability thanked us for highlighting the difficulties in a mainstream format. 

Joan Scott – Inspired Services
A lot more should be done to tackle stigma. There is more acceptance in the community than there used to be, but there are still problems.
I think it is one reason why we still rely so much on hospital settings. They’re closing down the old long-stay hospitals but opening up new ones where people are just put together without getting the treatment they need.

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