"We work to relieve and to prevent this treatable condition by providing information and support services."

A Single Step, issue Winter 2007-08

Moving People… A new high profile anti-stigma campaign

Moving People is a new £18m campaign to make the anti-stigma message a priority and combat the publics 'fear of' and prejudice towards people with mental health problems. The Moving People project is made up of Rethink, Mind and Mental health media and the institute of psychiatry. It's funded by £16 million from the Big Lottery Fund Well-being programme, matched by a further £2 million from Comic Relief.

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. New research shows that attitudes in England towards mental health have worsened further, contrasting with Scotland, where a strong anti-stigma campaign has changed attitudes:

  • 17 per cent increase in belief that the mentally ill are prone to violence in England, up to 34 per cent, compared to drop of more than 50 per cent from 32 per cent to 15 per cent in Scotland
  • Only 65 per cent of people now believe that people with mental health problems should have the same right to a job as anyone else
  • Only 42 per cent of Londoners disagree that 'One of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and willpower'
  • 32 per cent of Londoners think 'There is something about people with mental illness that makes it easy to tell them from normal people'

The Moving People campaign aims to make a 5% decrease in mental illness and a reduction of 5% in discrimination in five years. The organisation also plans to train an army of people who have experienced mental health problems to expose and challenge discrimination and empower others to speak out.

It also aims to educate 10,000 trainees, doctors and teachers to be more aware of mental health issues and establish 28 regional community projects to help 25,000 people to develop healthier lifestyles. The massive social awareness advertising campaign hopes to as significant as the HIV/AIDS campaign of the 80s. The scheme hopes to enlist big names, but stigma is still a barrier to speaking out.

Sue Baker, the director of the Moving People campaign, says: 'there is a wall of silence around it and until we create a higher profile for talking discrimination we are not going to get those ambassadors, supporters and champions on board. Everyone can talk about Stephen Fry: that is because he stands out. So many other people won't say anything.' For more details of the campaign, and news of encouraging work done in New Zealand, Australia and Scotland you can read Mark Gould's interview with Sue Baker in The Guardian, 31st October 2007: www.guardian.co.uk/mentalhealth

Some Moving People projects are already up and running including Boxercise in Croydon, and an organic market in Solihull, a well as a host of others planned. For more information about the projects, how to register your interest, get news and participate in the activities visit www.movingpeople.org.uk or write to Moving People, Freepost RRRR-YSUJ-ZYLB, 15 -19 Broadway, London E15 4BQ.

The Moving People survey: Stigma Shout!

Moving people has been asking for views from people who have or have had a mental health problem and carers of people with mental health problems to guide the development of a major national anti-stigma campaign in England and to create an identity for this programme of work.

There are two questionnaires, one for mental health problem sufferers and one for mental health carers or supporters of people with a mental health problem. Both surveys take about 10 minutes to fill in. All responses will be treated in confidence by the Rethink research team and no person will be identifiable in any summary which is produced to describe Stigma Shout findings. By responding you can also enter a prize draw to win £100 worth of high street retail vouchers! The closing date for responding on the website or returning the questionnaire is Friday 22nd February 2008.

For more information on the questionnaires and for paper copies, contact Rethink on 0845 456 0455.

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Undoing Depression
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Employment and Depression
Reforming Psychological Therapies in the UK
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