New councillors should end mental health discrimination, says charity

Newly elected councillors across Scotland will have the chance to end the stigma against mental health, according to the director of the See Me programme.

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See Me, Scotland’s programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination, is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by SAMH and the Mental Health Foundation.

The organisation, whose office is based in Glasgow’s Brunswick House in Wilson Street, work to achieve a Scotland where people can get the right help at the right time, expect recovery, and fully enjoy their rights, free from stigma and discrimination.

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SeeMe has raised concerns that health and social care work spaces are common places where mental health stigma is experienced, and urged all councillors elected on May 5 to help the organisation end the stigma and help people experiencing mental health issues speak out about their feelings.

Wendy Halliday, director of See Me, said: “We know that people’s experiences of their local communities and services have a huge effect on their mental health – and just 54 per cent of Scots say that they feel comfortable speaking about their mental health in their local communities.

“This stigma which many people face is one of the main barriers when it comes to speaking up and getting help.

“The Scottish local elections offer a real opportunity for newly-elected officials to take action against mental health stigma and discrimination.

“Locally managed or commissioned services, from health and social care to workplaces, are amongst the most common places where mental health stigma and discrimination can be experienced.

“We’re encouraging all new councillors to get behind the nationwide See Us movement and make real change in their area, and work with local people and services to make a difference.”

There are 204 candidates pushing to win one of the 85 seats available at Glasgow City Council, with those who are successful being encouraged to get behind the nationwide campaign to help improve the perception of people with mental health across Scotland and continue to build on the positive changes in the West Coast of the country.

A full list of candidates for Glasgow City Council can be found HERE.