GREEN RIBBON CAMPAIGN SPARKS DISCUSSION OF MENTAL HEALTH

The market research results are in and its official -YOUR support of the Green Ribbon campaign in May helped spark discussion of mental health.

green ribbon

Our campaign evaluation reveals that 78% of people who saw See Change’s Green Ribbon campaign in May 2013 now feel more comfortable in talking about mental health. Market research conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne on this month-long drive to get Ireland talking about mental health has found that the green ribbon symbol that was distributed free of charge across the country by See Change and our 80 partner organisations and worn by over 150,000 people has given rise to increased discussion of mental health.

Key findings:

  • Almost half of Irish adults who saw the Green Ribbon campaign have been hearing conversations about mental health among family, friends and at work since the campaign.
  • 78% of Irish people now feel more comfortable in having a conversation about mental health.
  • 62% say the Green Ribbon campaign has encouraged them to start conversations about mental health.
  • 87% feel it is important to continue to have open conversations about mental health with friends/ family/colleagues in our daily lives.

Here’s a message from John Saunders, director of See Change:

Even if one person takes a personal role in starting a conversation about mental health, it can have the power to get whole communities talking openly and foster real change in the way we, as a nation, handle our own and others’ mental health. -The fact that the simple act of wearing a green ribbon opened the door for so many conversations about mental health shows that you don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Oftentimes, the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know that you are there for them and simply listen.

Now it’s your turn:  TIPS ON HOW TO START THE CONVERSATION

If you think that someone might be experiencing a difficulty, make it clear that you’ve noticed that they don’t seem like their usual self and suggest that if they ever want to talk that you’ll be there. If you know someone has been unwell, don’t be afraid to ask how they are. They might want to talk about it, they might not. But just letting them know they don’t have to avoid the issue with you is important.

Take your lead from the person themselves and ask how you can help:  

Everyone’s experience is different and people will want support at different times in different ways, so just ask what is most helpful or appropriate.

Take the pressure off yourself by not trying to rush to find solutions or comparisons: 

We often fall into the trap of jumping straight in with something positive or wanting everything to be ‘okay’ but what the other person really needs is to be listened to. It’s okay not to have answers and to say that you don’t.

It doesn’t always have to be a big conversation about mental health: 

There are lots of small ways of showing support -just be yourself and listen. Send a text or just ask someone ‘how they’re doing’ – and mean it. Little things can make a big difference.

Avoid clichés: 

Phrases like ‘Cheer up’, ‘I’m sure it’ll pass’ and ‘Pull yourself together’ definitely won’t help the conversation! Being open minded, non-judgemental and listening will.


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