The sixth annual Green Ribbon campaign to End Mental Health Stigma has come to a close.
The See Change Team would like to thank our ambassadors, partners and everyone who supported the campaign throughout the month of May.
Demand for Green Ribbons exceeded 500,000 this year. All green ribbons were distributed to workplaces and community organisations before the campaign launched on 3rd May 2018.
Green Ribbon in numbers
500,000 = number of green ribbons distributed
1,000+ = number of organisations involved
87 = average number of people attending each Green Ribbon event
60 = percentage of Green Ribbon orders from workplaces
Here are Some Campaign Highlights
Green Ribbon Launch
The 6th annual Green Ribbon campaign was launched on 3 May 2018 at 11am in the Mansion House. Keynote speaker at the launch was Professor Graham Thornicroft, international expert on mental health and stigma reduction. Over 100 delegates gathered to open the campaign. Speakers at the launch included Sports Broadcaster and Former Rugby Player Alan Quinlan, and TV Panellist, Blogger and See Change Ambassador Jen Ronan.
Our ambassadors were involved in a plethora of events throughout the campaign. People with personal experience are the best placed to give insight into mental health difficulties. The Green Ribbon campaign is enriched by this knowledge and wisdom. Ambassadors got involved in promoting the campaign through blogs and interviews for radio and print. Ambassadors told their stories at events, shared their personal expertise during panel discussions, distributed ribbons and supported the campaign on social media. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support.
National #TimetoTalk Day
Over 280,000 people were reached on social media thanks to our Thunderclap on #TimetoTalk day which was supported on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The focus of the day was to create conversation about the language around mental health. Mental Health Hour hosted a Green Ribbon special from 7-8pm on twitter, inviting people online to join in the discussion. DJ Nikki Hayes created a video calling on people to consider the language they use around mental health and the affect it may have on those with lived experience. Over 92,000 people saw tweets from the See Change twitter account on this day. Messages from the public collected through social media displayed on our #TimetoTalk wall in 3 Major train stations in Dublin. These messages focused on hope and recovery. Our social media activity was supported throughout the month by a variety of organisations, such as Samaritans, College of Psychiatrists, Grow, Headline, Please Talk, and HSE NOSP.
Walk and Talks
A total of 7 ‘Talk and Walks’ were organised by our partners IFA, Coillte and Mental Health Ireland in support of the Green Ribbon campaign. People flocked to forests around the country to enjoy the fine weather and come together as a community to start conversations around mental health. The ‘Talk and Walk’ events have grown from strength to strength each year, with hundreds of people in attendance. ‘Talk and Walks’ took place in Clare, Wicklow, Galway, Monaghan, Cork, Mayo and Donegal.
Over 60% of all Green Ribbon orders were from workplaces. Workplaces took the opportunity to distribute the ribbon and talking card to their staff members, holding coffee mornings, photo-calls and in-house talks and events to generate conversation around mental health. The Look Beyond Exhibition was hosted in-house in a number of workplaces throughout May also.
Look Beyond Visits Bray
Look Beyond visited Eve Cairdeas Clubhouse in Bray, Co. Wicklow on Wednesday 16 May. Look Beyond is the work of 16 people with lived experience of mental health difficulties. The exhibition is currently on a national tour. In Look Beyond, people with mental health difficulties were invited to speak for themselves, giving us deep insight into the often unseen reality of what it means to live with a mental health difficulty and revealing many different paths to recovery.
See Change organised a special Green Ribbon Screening of the IFTA nominated Schizophrenia: The Voices in My Head at Screen 3 of the IFI in Dublin on Thursday 17 May 2018. The screening was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A chaired by Alison Comyn featuring documentary producer Aoife Kavanagh, participant interviewee and See Change Ambassador Nicola Wall, Susan McFeely of Shine and Neil Moore of DCU Recovery College.
Living Library: a library come to life!
The College of Psychiatrists held ‘Living Library’, a library come to life! in St Stephen’s Green on Friday, 31 May in support of Green Ribbon. When it comes to mental health everyone has a story to share. Here the ‘books’ were a little different, they were people; people with different experiences and stories to tell related to mental health. Social contact is known to be one of the most effective ways of reducing mental health related stigma and discrimination. The event was successful, with many people from different backgrounds and walks of life engaging in positive and informative conversations about mental health.
The Green Ribbon campaign would be at a loss without the support and dedication of community groups that come together year after year to create disruptive events aimed at reducing the stigma around mental health. Community driven events this year, to name but a few, included numerous events by ABC for Mental Health in Limerick, Suaimhneas Clubhouse, Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership, Ballymun Regional Youth Resource, Mayo Mental Health Fair Castlebar and Tullamore Goes Green. See Change also spoke at Men’s Shed Cluster Meetings in Waterford, Kildare and Dublin.
Bloom in the Park
See Change’s partner Shine created a Green Ribbon postcard garden at Bloom in support of the campaign this year. Bloom in the Park takes place over the June bank holiday weekend each year. The garden marked the end of this year’s Green Ribbon campaign to end mental health stigma. The garden was designed by members of the Basement Resource Centre and was based on a community garden they created on Kyle Street in Cork City. A Green Ribbon and a Lighthouse were featured in the garden, symbolising our need to start conversations around mental health and the importance of hope and recovery. During Bloom in the Park, attendees were invited to contribute their message of hope and recovery as a ‘message in a bottle’.
See Change would like to say a huge Thank You to our distribution partners Iarnród Éireann and Boots who have been with us every step along the way in helping to bring our campaign to the public. Iarnród Éireann launched their engagement with Green Ribbon on national #TimetoTalk day in Connolly station Friday 4 May. Volunteers distributed ribbons to passengers while Naas based band The Rush played music to make some noise about mental health. Boots held a special launch in their store in Blanchardstown shopping centre where Aslan lead singer Christie Dignam cut the green ribbon to open the campaign.