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.
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Motion: S4M-08581: Charity Shops Giving Something Back

Here is the motion that I lodged on Wednesday 11th December:

That the Parliament welcomes Giving Something Back, an independent report published by the think tank, Demos, on the economic and social value of charity shops; understands that there are 900 charity shops in Scotland, which collectively raise over £26 million every year as well as provide 1,500 jobs and 19,200 volunteering opportunities in Scotland; notes that 61% of volunteers asked in Giving Something Back said that volunteering in charity shops had a positive impact on their physical and mental health and over 80% said volunteering improved their self-esteem and confidence; agrees with Demos that charity shops improve community relations and are economically beneficial by helping maintain footfall on Scottish high streets and by offering cheaper goods as the cost of living increases, and agrees that charity shops provide both older and young people in Scotland with invaluable opportunities to learn new skills, improve their confidence, have a new sense of purpose, socialise and meet new people and to ultimately gain experience that can help those seeking a job to find employment.

 

Jean Urquhart MSP backs latest ‘see me’ campaign

Jean Urquhart MSP has backed ‘see me’s latest campaign urging Scots to get talking about mental ill-health and listen to what is being said.

‘Just listen. You could change a life.’ is the message of the latest campaign from ‘see me’, Scotland’s national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health. Talking openly about mental ill-health isn’t always easy but with someone there to listen, it could change a life.

This latest activity comes on the back of recent research which found that a sizeable number of Scots[1] (40%) would find it hard, or are unsure how to discuss or talk about mental illness, despite nearly two thirds (61%) of the population[2] being in touch with someone with experience of mental ill-health.

 

Jean said: “I am supporting this latest campaign from ‘see me’ because stigma surrounding mental health ill-health still exists in Scotland and is something we all need to play our part in breaking down.

“I hope the campaign will encourage people across the Highlands and Islands to open up and talk about mental health issues. We need to start talking if want to stamp out the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health once and for all.”

Suzie Vestri, ‘see me’ campaign director, said: “If you think someone close to you might be experiencing mental ill-health, the first and most important thing to do is to ask how you can help, and listen to what they say to you.

“It’s not easy, and your help might not seem welcome at first, but keep asking how they are and listen attentively when they do open up. Only by talking positively and openly can we end the stigma that surrounds mental ill-health. I would encourage everyone in the Highlands and Islands to just listen. You really can change a life.”

Activity kicked off with a refreshed TV advert which features two friends talking about how one didn’t give up on the other who was experiencing mental ill-health until he opened up. This will be supported with new radio and print adverts as well as key digital and social media activity to start the Just listen. You could change a life conversation online.

Watch the TV advert here: www.seemescotland.org/justlisten

Get involved in the online conversation by liking the ‘see me’ Facebook page or tweeting #endstigma #justlisten.


[1] Figures from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1011 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18 – 20 September 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+)

[2] Figures from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1011 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18 – 20 September 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+)