Mental Health Foundation launches ‘Take the Load Off‘
27 June 2017
Mental Health Foundation launches ‘Take the Load Off‘ – Mental illness stigma and discrimination campaign
For the 1 in 5 Kiwis who experience mental illness each year, stigma and discrimination is like a constant, heavy weight that makes life more challenging than it needs to be. It is also one of the biggest barriers to recovery.
But, Mental Health Foundation acting chief executive, Daemon Coyle says it doesn’t need to be that way.
“Take the Load Off will focus on the simple things people can do to reduce the weight of stigma and discrimination for people living with mental illness. It could be as small as asking someone how their day is going, inviting a friend to have lunch with you or offering to help someone out in the workplace.
“It’s not about trying to fix someone or being an expert around mental illness, it’s simply about being a good mate, colleague or whānau member, showing you care, and accepting and including people,” Mr Coyle says.
The campaign was developed after extensive consultation with people with lived experience and their family and friends, as well as with many of the people who have supported the Like Minds, Like Mine programme over the last 20 years.
In the first phase of the campaign the Mental Health Foundation is calling for people to share their own experiences.
“Take the Load Off will be driven by everyday New Zealanders who are willing to share moments when they’ve felt the weight of mental illness stigma and discrimination and what helped to lighten the load,” says Coyle.
The stories shared will help to shape the campaign which will run from mid-July through until the end of September.
To contribute your experience, visit www.taketheloadoff.nz