The stigma of mental illness rises right to the top of society. A 2011 study among service users conducted by St Patrick’s University Hospital showed that many people live with the symptoms of mental ill-health for long periods without accessing mental health advice or treatment. This is due mainly to the stigma that surrounds mental health as well as lack of knowledge about mental health problems and sources of help.
Forty-one per cent of those surveyed had lived with their symptoms for at least one year before seeking help, while Forty-one per cent of people surveyed would not discuss their mental health problems with their employer.
7 January, six transition year students from Donegal have decided to take on the issue of mental health, and the stigma the today surrounds those suffering with illnesses. They have created a website that has been up and running since early November having gotten a huge response both online and offline. The aim of the website they set up is to de-stigmatize the way mental health is seen and to promote a more positive attitude towards mental health. They want to enforce the idea that mental health is not a negative thing in order to promote positive mental health among young people.
The aims of this newly established project are to bring mental health and young people to the forefront. The website provides simple step-by-step guides on how to deal with issues surrounding mental health. It contains basic tips for improving your mental health and also outlines more serious issues such as signs and symptoms, and where to seek help if needed. The site provides more information for those who wish to know more about mental health looking toward certain helplines.
If you or anyone you know is seeking help, please contact Samaritans toll free at 091 561 222.
For more information please visit http://theturnoverproject.com/ or on twitter @turnoverproject
By Cathy Lee