Break the Stigma
We are backing a campaign launched by an ex service user from Bedfordshire who is now employed by the Trust.
Ben Salmons created the Break the Stigma initiative back in 2015. He is determined to combat the stigma attached to mental health issues to help people understand more about the subject and to tackle common misconceptions.
The 38-year-old first suffered mental health issues during his teenage years and spent 10 years accessing mental health services both as an inpatient and in the community.
The public are encouraged to write a message on a white board headed ‘Let’s be open about mental health to Break the Stigma’.
Individuals are then pictured with their comment and the image is shared through social media. These messages are also shared when Ben delivers talks challenging stigma and sharing his own journey with his mental health problems, when he is running workshops and is at events around Bedfordshire and Luton.
“We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health,” said Ben.
“The target of Break The Stigma is to encourage open conversations about our mental health. I personally didn’t open up about how much I was struggling until my late twenties, because I was so worried, due to the stigma associated with mental health problems, but getting help was the best thing I ever did.
“I hope this will reassure anyone who is struggling that it is ok to need help and absolutely ok to ask for it, whether that is through your GP or mental health services.”
If you would like to support the campaign email firstname.lastname@example.org
Social media links:
Facebook - Let's Be Open About Mental Health
Twitter - @LetsBreakStigma
See the Signs, Save a Life
The Trust, local councils and charities are working together through the 'See the Signs, Save a Life' campaign to help the public to recognise when people they know might be struggling with suicidal thoughts and what action to take to support them.
The initiative is running in Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton.
The campaign focuses on the signs to look out for and what you can do to help. It also encourages the community not to be afraid to ask directly about suicide.
Full details are available here.
The Trust is also an active supporter of Heads Up, a campaign to help men stay happy.
The campaign targets men aged 30-59 in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire. These men are less likely to seek help on mental health issues and tend to ‘suffer in silence’.
The campaign is designed to offer men a source of information and guidance about any mental health issues they may be facing, communicated in a style to which they can relate.
HeadsUp was created following research with men aged 30-59 years old, which led the creation of a website. The website is designed to signpost men to the resources available but written in a more informal language.
It also offers a wide range of tips and an online check- up tool to allow men to self-assess their symptoms without the involvement of other people.
Other features include a ‘hide my screen’ button to allow men to explore the site, but quickly move off the site if they are interrupted. A ‘toolbox’ offers lots of different resources to address issues that lead to feelings of low worth, anxiety and depression such as money problems, a relationship breakdown and trouble sleeping.