Lisa Archibald believes that the energy at ‘see me’ now should be carried forward in communities across Scotland, to make ‘see me’ the most progressive anti-stigma movement in the world.
For many years, I have felt very strongly about the need to tackle the discrimination people with mental health challenges experience within communities. As part of New Horizons Borders, I have tried to do what I can at a local level.
But as a 2013 Winston Churchill fellow I was recently given the chance to look at experiences of discrimination internationally. This past 6 months I have visited Australia, New Zealand and America and have talked to people about their experiences and explored new ways of challenging discriminatory attitudes and behaviours. You can find more about my trip here.
I feel so lucky to be part of this group of 200 people all sharing ideas to move forward Scotland’s anti-discrimination movement. I love my country and our people. I am proud to be Scottish, as culturally we believe in a welfare state. We support each other, our neighbours and friends. We understand the importance of community and looking out for each other.
This gives us a head start in raising awareness and challenging discrimination in communities. If the language we use was changed, people would far more easily identify with the human experience of emotional distress. “Mental health” is seen as a clinical label that creates social distance. But most people understand the language and feelings of emotional wellbeing and emotional distress.
It is not 1 in 4, it’s nearer 1 in 1.
Lets start talking to EVERYONE about the importance of maintaining our mental wellbeing from as young an age as possible. Lets talk to employers- not about ill health or suicide prevention- but about the importance of our mental wellbeing. Let’s be preventative.
There is a lot of passion in Dunblane Hydro at this event. I hope ‘see me’ do what they can to try and bottle that spirit and enthusiasm…
But not just that- continue the dialogue, get out to people at grass roots level and keep the momentum and enthusiasm alive.
That will help make ‘see me’ the most progressive anti-discrimination movement internationally.