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World Mental Health Day 2014

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
WMHD

I know there's a few of us here that care quite a bit about issues surrounding mental health. I thought it would be interesting to find out what people thought about World Mental Health Day 2014.

So, I'll go first ;)

According to the World Health Organisation "World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health".

Also - did you know that there's a theme each year? This year it was 'Living with Schizophrenia'.

I was disappointed with the coverage (news, social media etc) for this year. I think that having a theme is essential, as it avoids this day being like every single one of those 'awareness' days. It means we can look at specific issues for people and focus on educating people on specific points. However... I think the point was missed by many.

I think we are past the point of '1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem'. It's been drilled into us for years now. I guess I just think it's a real shame that an event that had the potential to educate people and address specific issues turned into a generic 'let's raise awareness', 'let's talk about it' thing.

The voices of those with schizophrenia were drowned out by the same old repetitive phrases. We could have all learnt about how bloody difficult living with schizophrenia is, about the chronic nature of the disorder and about the people who suffer from treatment resistant schizophrenia. Or maybe that those with a severe mental health problem will die on average 10 YEARS younger than someone without? Could have even debunked some myths about the condition.

I think I regret that it was a missed opportunity.

I think that 'awareness of issues' is so much more important than 'awareness' full stop. Looking back at the campaigns doing the rounds, it's only motor neurone disease (ice bucket challenge) and the British slavery trade (TV advert) that I think are causes which people might have been unaware of before. In my opinion mental health full stop and cancer full stop do not need blanket awareness, and in fact it takes away the opportunity to focus on the detail.

But hey that's just my opinion. Please do comment and let me know if you think I've got it all wrong.

(Don't get me started on 'Stand Up To Cancer')

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think we are past the point of '1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem'. It's been drilled into us for years now. I guess I just think it's a real shame that an event that had the potential to educate people and address specific issues turned into a generic 'let's raise awareness', 'let's talk about it' thing.

    I totally agree with this. The lovely Kat Cormack made a really valid point that actually it isn'y "1 in 4" but it's 4 in 4, because everyone is impacted in some way by mental health, whether that it directly or indirectly. We all have mental health, it just varies about how healthy that health is.
    The voices of those with schizophrenia were drowned out by the same old repetitive phrases. We could have all learnt about how bloody difficult living with schizophrenia is, about the chronic nature of the disorder and about the people who suffer from treatment resistant schizophrenia. Or maybe that those with a severe mental health problem will die on average 10 YEARS younger than someone without? Could have even debunked some myths about the condition.

    I think I regret that it was a missed opportunity.

    Again, I fully agree with this. As I said in the other WHMD thread which has disappeared, not every single case of mental illness can be cured. Sometimes it's a case of living with, not living as, and choosing the make the best out of the situation and doing what you can. Mental illness can be incredibly debilitating. You can lose everything you know. The symptoms might ease in time, or you might experience good days, but ultimately, the effects of losing everything you know is lifelong. I'm all for media coverage, if it is done correctly. What is failed to be noted is that medication and a nice chat over a cup of tea doesn't work for everyone.

    What was done to try and decrease the stigma about schizophrenia? Very little in my opinion. There is still a very worrying view that everyone with schizophrenia is a dangerous killer on the loose, who will switch personalities within seconds.

    Mental illness can be scary. But it's not The Person, it's The Illness. The two are very very different. Confusing the two can be incredibly damaging. Where was the campaign to try and reduce that?
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