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Call to end mental health stigma

This news post is about 7 years old

Stigma must end say campaigners on World Human Rights day

Mental health campaigners are calling for an end to stigma surrounding the illness on World Human Rights day (Wednesday, 10 December).

See Me, a national campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination, has called for people all over Scotland to join together and take action to support the rights of people with mental health problems.

It follows a week where a GP’s surgery told patients experiencing mental health problems to look elsewhere for treatment and a 16 year old girl was kept in a police cell for two days due to a lack of mental health facilities.

The campaign is calling for human rights and the fundamental freedoms to be protected as research shows only 40% of people with severe mental health problems are in employment.

Human Rights Day represents one year since the Scottish National Action Plan on Human Rights was established, to ensure human rights are followed in Scotland.

Judith Robertson, See Me programme director, said: “Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to receive fair treatment if they are ill or distressed.

“See Me is creating a movement which will bring people together from all over Scotland and beyond who are determined to stop mental health stigma and discrimination in its tracks.

“It’s led by those who care about injustice and equal rights in society.”

Within health and social care people with mental health problems die five to ten years younger than the general population and it is not uncommon for symptoms of other illnesses to be dismissed because of mental health problems.

Mental health nurse and See Me volunteer Phoebe McBarron (pictured) says that in her work she has to ensure that people’s basic human rights are respected on a daily basis.

She said: “I work in a treatment centre which cares for informal patients experiencing mental health problems, we therefore make protecting human rights part of our working conscience.

“Where possible it is important to give individuals as much power over their care and treatment as possible.

“They should be given as much information as possible about what is happening to them, and be involved in the decision making process.”



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James Collins
about 7 years ago
As a volunteer carer for a schizophrenia patient I find sadly in many cases the authorities themselves fail their Statutory duties and many do not even know their duties Example 1 out off 20A patient if invited by the GP surgery or the Psychiatric Surgery the invitation letter never gives the opportunity for the patient to allow a family member or friend to come help represent his medical interests. Also when at these meetings by accident I was never allowed to speak. Sadly some cases are like this. It is an unequal power relationship Dominant doctor against obedient compliant patient. Your opinion if different to the doctor has no value or meaning. Only they can can diagnose the problem of your brain or body.