The Time to Change campaign is the biggest mental health stigma busting campaign in the UK, receiving an estimated £21 million between 2007 and 2011. Given this level of investment I would hope it made significant differences to stigma surrounding mental health problems. The truth is that it hasn’t, and in some areas of stigma, prejudice has increased.
I innocently posted an item on Twitter the other day about Marsha Linehan, one of the world’s best known clinical psychologists and the creator of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Linehan caused a stir a little over two years ago when she announced that she, like so many of the people she has tried to help, had suffered from the experiences labelled as‘borderline personality disorder’ (BPD). Admittedly, Twitter is a volatile medium in which people say many things free of the restraints that a less anonymous conversation might impose. But, even so, I was unprepared for the vitriol with which my tweet was greeted.
Salomons Service User and Carer Coordinator, Laura Lea considers why admitting to mental health problems may be such a taboo for mental health professionals.
When a celebrity like Stephen Fry can publicly admit that he’s recently attempted suicide and others like Catherine Zeta-Jones announce they’re checking into a clinic for maintenance of a bipolar disorder, it would be tempting to believe that we’ve reached a new point in the acceptance of mental illness.