The Department of Health (DoH) has taken action to boost the
promotion of mental health issues across Britain.
A communications guide titled Making It Happen, produced by mental
health charity Mentality, which was recruited last year, is being sent
to PROs in the social service and health sectors, to help them tackle
the issue more effectively.
The DoH sees the guide as key to helping PROs meet Government targets on
mental health promotion.
Local plans on promoting the employment of those with mental health
problems and reducing prejudice must be in place by March next year.
The guide offers help to develop these plans as well as a guide to
It also gives examples of more imaginative ways to communicate the
issues with different audiences.
Two key audiences for the DoH are children and the Afro-Caribbean
Promoting the subject in schools is seen as crucial to reduce prejudice
in the long term and help pupils and teachers recognise the early signs
of mental illness.
DoH research shows that young black men are over-represented on
psychiatric wards. The guide suggests liaising with barbers as a way of
communicating more effectively with Afro-Caribbeans.
Health minister Jacqui Smith, in charge of the Government's mental
health initiatives, said: 'Effective mental health promotion depends on
harnessing expertise, resources and partnerships across all
'We hope this guide will serve as a resource which people can dip in and
out of, making issue of those sections which are most relevant to their
work,' she added.
The DoH is also attempting to combat discrimination against those with
mental health problems with its Mindout campaign. Agency The Forster
Company was recruited earlier this year to work on the campaign.