Free event: Jean urges Highlanders to build a movement against mental health stigma

Jean Urquhart MSP supporting See Me. Jean is holding a round board with the words "see me, I'm committed to inclusion".

Jean is urging people with personal experience of mental health problems to take advantage of a free two-day event at the Dunblane Hydro to build a social movement against stigma.

‘see me’ – Scotland’s national programme for ending stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems – is hosting the landmark two-day event on 3 and 4 April 2014.

The event, which is expected to attract over 180 participants from all over Scotland, is designed to give participants the chance to get involved, have their say, share ideas and help set the key themes for the next three years to further tackle stigma and discrimination in Scotland.

To get more information about the event or register your interest, you can:

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Monday, 17 March 2014.

The event aims to attract people with personal experience of mental health problems, those who are close to or care for someone with mental health issues, those who work professionally in the field, and people who work with young people and employers.

Free accommodation at the Dunblane Hydro is being provided, and support is available for travel costs, so that no-one should be excluded from taking part.

Keynote speakers will include Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson MSP and ‘see me’ Director Judith Robertson.

Jean said:

“Mental health problems are very common – one in four of us will suffer from one this year. Despite that, having mental health issues still often means facing misunderstanding, stigma and discrimination.

“I’m right behind ‘see me’ and the work it does to put an end to that.

“This event is a great opportunity for people with direct experience to get involved. Free travel and accommodation mean that this will be so much more accessible to a wide range of people – especially in the north – than events in the central belt usually are.

“I’d urge people across the Highlands and Islands to apply to attend the event so that they can have their say about what we can all do to put an end to discrimination associated with mental health problems once and for all. This could be the start of a really important movement for change.”

About ‘see me’

  • ‘see me’ is Scotland’s national programme to end stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems.
  • The ‘see me’ programme is supported by a joint investment of £4.5million over three years from the Scottish Government and Comic Relief and works collaboratively with a range of partners including the Mental Health Foundation, Scottish Association for Mental Health, Voices of Experience, Scottish Recovery Network, Highland User Group, and the Mental Health Co-Operative.

About stigma and discrimination

  • Stigma is an issue of basic human rights and can have an impact on people’s recovery from mental health problems.
  • The most common situations where people with lived-experience face stigma and discrimination are: by friends and family; in employment/at work; within the local community; within mental health or other health services. These are also the situations where people are most likely to have disclosed their mental health problems.