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NHS trust relaunches anti-stigma campaign

A local NHS trust is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by relaunching its anti-stigma campaign to help reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health.

On 1 April 2010, North West Boroughs Healthcare (then known as 5 Boroughs Partnership) first launched its Stamp out Stigma campaign to challenge perceptions of mental health problems and learning disabilities. The aim was to collect pledges from members of the public promising not to use words like ‘nutter’ and ‘psycho’, which are hurtful and offensive to people with mental health problems.

Seven years on, the Trust is reviving the campaign and will be turning its focus to sharing real-life stories from service users, carers and members who have first-hand experience of mental health stigma, and will be myth-busting some of the common misconceptions around different mental health problems under monthly themes.

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place between 14 and 21 May each year and is organised by the Mental Health Foundation. This year’s theme is around tackling stress, and with this in mind the Trust has produced a series of short video clips of service users talking about stress and the stigma that surrounds it for May’s theme.

Simon Barber, Chief Executive at North West Boroughs Healthcare said:

“We are re-launching our Stamp out Stigma campaign to challenge perceptions and further educate the public about the realities of mental health problems by sharing real-life stories from our service users and carers.

“We hope these experiences will highlight the realities of mental health problems and show how mental health stigma can hurt and offend people who are living with these complex and often distressing conditions.”

The Trust will be getting involved in a number of initiatives during the week to help promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

The Trust has also set up its own Twitter Thunderclap, which is a tool that sends the same tweet at the same time from each account that has signed up to it. The tweet is then sent automatically from the person’s Twitter account along with the Trust account on the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week.

You can sign up to the Trust’s Thunderclap to show your support for Mental Health Awareness Week, by following @NWBoroughsNHS and @istampoutstigma on Twitter, where you can also stay up-to-date with activity throughout the week.

To view the videos and to find out more about Stamp out Stigma campaign visit the Trust’s website at: www.nwbh.nhs.uk/stamp-out-stigma/

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