Health & Social Care Seminar
Stigma Free Lanarkshire, in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire and See Me, invited thirty one Health and Social Care locality leaders to come together to lead the way in putting an end to mental health stigma and discrimination. This half day event was a great opportunity to explore how leaders can champion the message by taking action and influencing positive change. We all have mental health and mental health is everyone’s business and together we want to achieve a stigma free Lanarkshire.
On the day we had talks from Michael Byrne, who shared his own lived experience of mental health stigma within health and social care, and then Rachel from our team shared an overview of Stigma Free Lanarkshire and the work we do. Anne Armstrong from NHS Lanarkshire gave some insight on the opportunities to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination that are threaded throughout the newly launched Lanarkshire Mental Health and Well Being Strategy. Finally, Wendy Halliday from See Me shared a national perspective of stigma and what those challenging it can do.
The Lanarkshire Mental Health and Well Being Strategy is focused on people working together to lift the stigma and discrimination, putting it on an equal par with physical health. This means ensuring that the promotion of mental health and well-being underpins all aspects of our supports and services. This is one of the reasons why the leaders event was so successful; achievable actions were highlighted during the round table discussions.
Leaders identified a need to re-introduce an explicit commitment to address stigma and discrimination, and integrate this to the strategy and day-to-day working. There was a real recognition from leaders that the power of conversation is an integral part of promoting inclusivity for all. Overall, the event was successful and enabled us to create the conditions to eradicate mental health stigma and discrimination within health and social care.