Tell your story, make a ripple, help end the stigma
In Ireland, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our life. That’s enough of us to fill Croke Parkfourteen times over; it’s six times the number of students who enrolled in all our Universities and all our ITs combined right across the county last year, and its more people than the combined population of Cork, Clare, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
One in four means that mental health problems touch us all. It could be your Dad, your cousin; your sister in Australia, or your best friend. What would you do if one of those people told you they had a mental health problem? How would you react?
See Change is a national partnership of people and organisations working to change minds about mental health problems in Ireland.
We need your help!
In May 2011, See Change will launch Make a Ripple; a campaign to build an online community of ambassadors, advocates, story tellers and volunteers who can help us reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems.
The idea is simple – we want people to speak out against stigma by leaving a comment on the Make a Ripple site (coming soon), on our facebook page or through twitter. International evidence says that telling stories and sharing experiences can be one of the most effective ways to change attitudes, tackle stigma and challenge discrimination.
So what can you do?
After the launch, we’ll be inviting everyone to visit the site and make a ripple. Before that though, we need to gather 100 contributions so that the site has lots of stories and pledges when we open it up to the public. We’re asking for your help by signing up as one of our first 100 ambassadors. We only need 100 words or less, and it can be about your own experience of mental health problems and your journey to recovery, a message about how someone else’s experience affected you, or a plea for others to start talking openly and honestly about mental health problems.
If you’d like to submit an piece, but would prefer to remain anonymous – just let us know, it’s no problem.
We hope to create a ripple effect that will allow us to reach more and more people with the message that we need to be open, honest and accepting about our own and others mental health.
The campaign launches in May 2011. Help us change minds and start conversations about mental health problems in Ireland. If you’d like to become an ambassador, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call a member of the See Change team on (01) 860 1620.
Alastair Campbell – See Change Ambassador
Read a message of support from Alastair Cambpell, a See Change ambassador and champion of mental health issues in Ireland and the UK.