Are We Finally Addressing The Mental Health Taboo?
With the #itsokaynottobeokay campaign sweeping social media, is it a sign that we’re finally starting to break the taboo around mental health?
With the biggest cause of death in men under 45 in the UK, being suicide; and a quarter of us experiencing mental health problems in any given year, perhaps it’s time we really got to grips with this epidemic.
While there are numerous charities that deal directly with mental health and offer support to those who need it, will it take implementation of effective policy at a national level, for the UK to start seeing real change?
The NHS aims to ‘transform mental health services’ by 2020 and by that time wants mental health to be considered equal to physical health, but what are the current plans and what policy changes can we expect to see in the future?
In December 2017, the Department for Education and the Department for Health and Social Care launched a green paper on mental health provision. It outlined their approach to improve the mental health facilities available to young people. It included proposals such as: ensuring schools have a designated individual responsible for the school’s mental health care provision, reducing waiting times for treatment, setting up a national partnership to improve mental health services, as well as aiming to improve society’s understanding of mental health.
These are all welcome changes, but the question is how do we really go about improving society’s understanding of mental health in a matter of years? Education is often seen as a key way to improve national awareness. Be it through national campaigns such as the It’s Okay campaign by Scottish charity See Me (which aims to let people know it’s okay to experience a range of emotions, as well as to talk about them), or through informal information session in schools and in the workplace.
With a reported two in three adults in the UK having suffered with mental health problems in their lifetime, we should continue to ask, are we taking the rights steps to end mental health stigma, but perhaps more pressingly, are we improving the mental wellbeing of our society?
If you want to learn more, why not take our Mental Health Awareness course
This is the first part of a short series of articles focusing on mental wellbeing.
9th August 2018