Pull yourself together’ has topped the cliché chart in a new poll, commissioned by Time to Change, England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, which explores unhelpful comments that people face when they talk openly to someone about their mental illness.
Many people with a mental health problem say stigma is one of the hardest parts of the illness, and often worse than the symptoms themselves. It can lead to loss of friendships, feeling isolated, not seeking the help they need and sadly, a slower recovery process. These common clichés can make it even harder for people to speak out.
The poll also revealed that; ‘there are people out there much worse off than you’; and; ‘snap out of it’ were other expressions used frequently.
Due to the myths that still surround mental health problems, starting a conversation about it can often feel awkward. However, talking and being open about mental health can help to break down the stigma and discrimination that many people face every day.
To show that mental health doesn’t have to be a scary subject, the latest campaign ‘It’s time to talk. It’s time to change’, has launched a new viral film with tips on how to start a conversation about mental health –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGiqn5MK1TY
The new short video features Time to Change activists with experience of mental health problems giving their advice on the best ways of making the conversation easier. One supporter in particular talks about avoiding these types of clichés.
People with a mental health problem say that listening, being open minded and non-judgemental about their experiences are the most important factors for them (2).
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “Starting a conversation about mental health can sometimes feel daunting. Our aim is to take the awkwardness away from it and enable both people with a mental health problem and those without to talk about it openly and honestly. The more we’re all able to have a conversation about mental health, the more we will remove the stigma and discrimination that still affects so many of us living with a mental health problem.”
Shea Wong, Time to Change supporter who appeared in the video, said: “We all have situations where we’re lost for words and certain clichés seem the best way of comforting someone. The tips we’ve shared in this short film will hopefully encourage people to talk and be more open with colleagues, friends and family who might be experiencing a mental health problem.”
For tips on how to start your conversation about mental health go to – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGiqn5MK1TY
Join the movement and make a pledge to help end mental health stigma at
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