Anti-stigma campaign on mental health gets results

A month-long anti-stigma campaign in Norwich run by Rethink doubled the number of people prepared to say they had a mental health problem, research published yesterday has found.

An independent public opinion survey carried out following the campaign, which took place in March, revealed that 30 per cent of local people said they had experienced a mental health problem, compared with 15 per cent beforehand.

The proportion of people who thought a person with the early signs of schizophrenia would go on to do something violent fell from 32 per cent to 24 per cent.

And the number of people who would not want anyone to know if they had mental health problems fell from 40 per cent to 22 per cent.

Rethink believes the campaign, which included advertising, publicity events and a statue of Winston Churchill in a straitjacket, demonstrates that a similar national campaign could prove successful.

It said the government’s Shift anti-stigma programme is under-funded, receiving the equivalent of two pence per head of population in England, compared with the 15 pence per head spent in Scotland last year and 36 pence per head in New Zealand.



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