Anti-stigma campaigns

Unfortunately, stigma is a problem that’s familiar to many of the people who contact our depression support services. It’s not all one-way traffic, though, and we wanted to share news of a few interesting Irish campaigns and projects that aim to tackle this.

First up is a quick update on the recent world record attempt by See Change. In conjunction with Trinity College Students’ Union and Fighting Words, this saw 953 people (the majority in the 18 – 24 age group) share their own personal views on mental health in writing in Trinity College. This was an effort to show that the story of mental health in Ireland can be rewritten by all of us, especially the young, and a world record was successfully broken and recognised by a Guinness World Records Adjudicator. Well done to all involved and you can read more on the See Change website.

We’ve also been notified about a project by photographer Sinead McDonald, who aims to exhibit the portraits and personal stories of 100 people who have been directly or indirectly (which is to say, most people) affected by mental illness. She’s about halfway there already but if you’re interested in getting involved and sharing your story publicly, contact Sinead through her website. The project is in conjunction with See Change and the First Fortnight arts/mental health awareness project.

Lastly, a quick reminder of the new phase of the ‘Lean on Me’ campaign that Aware is involved with. Follow the link to see a video of well-known Irish street artist Maser create a live Lean on Me billboard on Dublin’s Macken St. To find out more about talking to friends and loved ones about depression or related illnesses, visit the Lean on Me website.

2 Responses to “Anti-stigma campaigns”

  1. Mary

    There is no need for anyone whatsoever in my opinion to have a stigma about mental illness.  If we have the illness which I have for many years, then we got to accept it, everyone in the planet is unique, some can’t walk, some can’t talk, some can’t get out of bed, what have we to complain about .  I f someone down the road thinks we are fools let them, there are people with degrees out of College and I sometimes wonder how they got in there.  You didn’t accept what I said earlier this may not appeal to everyone but I don’t water down what I think.  That is me.  Thank you.

  2. Aware (Muiris)

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the comment and you’re absolutely right that the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses shouldn’t be there.

    Hopefully campaigns like this can help more people to think of depression and related conditions as illnesses – not weaknesses.

    Well done for your determined attitude and with luck, someone else will read that here and gain confidence from it.


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