Awareness campaign close-up: Mental ill-health taboo combated

Organisation The MHF Campaign Action Week 2004 Date 11-17 April Budget Undisclosed

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is preparing for Mental Health Action Week, an annual event dating to the 1950s.

In the last four years, MHF has covered issues such as work-life balance, mental health in the workplace, friendship and stigma.

Awareness is raised by researching a theme and launching a report.

This year, the MHF has carried out a survey to find out how the UK population copes with low moods. Results include exercise, sex, spending time with pets and drinking beer.

The charity will release the results with the message that everyone needs to learn to look after their mental health. In addition, the MHF is running a poster campaign across the UK. The charity has commissioned images designed to encourage people to think about mental health and to combat the fear, prejudice and stigma attached to mental illness.

One in four people will have a mental health problem in their life, according to the charity, which says the stigma is one of the worst features of mental illness.

The MHF says fear and prejudice, and the fact that for many people mental illness is a taboo subject, can prevent some from seeking help for mental distress.

It says that neglecting early signs can put people at risk of developing more serious problems – a key message during the week, which runs from 11 to 17 April.

For more information, contact Celia Richardson on 020 7802 0312 or email crichardson@mhf.org.uk

Awareness campaign data supplied to PRWeek by Foresight. Visit www.foresightonline.co.uk.

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