Kildare County Council and Kerry tackle mental health

Ribbon: Helping to end the stigma

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare County Council and Kerry tackle mental health

Kildare County Council and Kerry Group have thrown their weight behind a campaign to end mental health stigma.

The oak tree at Aras Chill Dara and the Kerry Group premises lit up green as part of See Change’s 6th National Green Ribbon campaign, which runs until the end of the month.

Research released by See Change ahead of the campaign shows that 1 in 5 people still associate derogatory language with mental health difficulties.

See Change is a national partnership working to end mental health stigma in Ireland. The partnership is made up of over 100 organisations and 60 ambassadors who work to create a disruptive, community driven social movement to reduce the stigma and discrimination, which is associated with mental health problems.

“Although some derogatory words may seem trivial and innocent, they are the building blocks of stigma that may lead someone to conceal a mental health difficulty. One of the most important ways in which we can reduce stigma is to change how we talk about mental health”, said John Saunders, director of See Change. He added: ““We’re encouraging people to really think about the language they are using and the effects it may have on someone experiencing a mental health difficulty. Stigma often prevents people seeking help and speaking out. After last year’s campaign, 3 in 4 people said they were open to discussing mental health. We hope to improve upon this”.

Some 500,000 ribbons will be distributed to homes, workplaces, schools, colleges and communities all over Ireland to encourage people to talk about mental health.

They are available locally in Boots Pharmacies on the Dublin Road and Monread Shopping Centre.