Mental Health Europe launches anti-stigma and discrimination campaign
Brussels, 3 May 2016 – Mental Health Europe, the largest European organisation active in the field of mental health, has just launched a new anti-stigma and discrimination campaign: EACH OF US. The campaign’s objective is to change peoples’ minds about mental health and debunk myths and misconceptions about people with mental health problems. Journalists can play a pivotal role in helping us end mental health stigma! The media is extremely powerful and is consumed by millions of people every day.
We want to encourage journalists to use their influence when reporting on mental health so as not to reinforce misconceptions and stereotypes or create sensationalist articles which can cause huge distress and offence to the one in four people who will experience mental health problems. The language used should be as descriptive as possible, and avoid labelling or stigmatising terms. As a journalist, you can [and should] be mindful about the language you use when talking about people with mental health problems, or when telling stories which involve people experiencing mental ill health.
The language should be as descriptive as possible and avoid language which is reductive, labelling or stigmatising.
For example, a person is not a ‘depressive’, as that reduces them to a label, but is ‘experiencing mental ill health’ or ‘mental distress’.
What you could use…
- ‘a person with a mental health problem’, ‘people with mental health problems’ someone who is ‘currently experiencing’ or ‘is being treated for…’, ‘service users’ people experiencing mental ill health, people experiencing mental distress
What to avoid…
- ‘a psycho’ or ‘a schizophrenic’ or ‘a depressive’ ‘the mentally ill’, ‘people with mental disorders’
Why the campaign matters
- One in four of us can expect to experience a mental health problem during our lifetimes.
- One in five adolescents in Europe is affected by at least one psychological problem in any given year.
- Three-quarters of European businesses report the presence of at least one psychosocial risk in the workplace (excessive workloads, conflicting demands, poor management, psychological or sexual harassment, lack of support)
What we have planned To give impetus to the campaign, we will be asking celebrities, policy-makers, journalists, colleagues, health professionals and anyone supporting our cause to GET INVOLVED online. We will also give workshops about mental health in schools and universities as well as businesses and European institutions. T
he campaign will be translated into more than 10 European languages!
Have a look at our myths buster about mental health problems:
Download our campaign kit here: https://eachofus.eu/campaign-kit/ Visit the campaign’s website: www.eachofus.eu