New survey hopes to shed light on level of mental illness in County

The Scottish Mental Illness Stigma Survey is led by See Me, Scotland’s national program to end mental health stigma and discrimination, and the Mental Health Foundation in Scotland, in partnership with the University Glasgow Caledonian. The views and experiences people share will be used to make recommendations for positive changes that can help create a Scotland free of prejudice and discrimination related to mental illness.

Survey responses will be anonymous as the organizations seek to learn more about the real-life experiences of people aged 18 and older living with complex and/or persistent mental illnesses. Although people living with these conditions are known to experience discrimination, the research will explore how and where people experience stigma, self-stigma, the impact this has and, most importantly, what needs to be done. be done to improve people’s lives and prevent mental illness. health conditions worsen or become unmanageable.

See Me volunteer Tommy Kelly first battled an eating disorder in 1997 after his mother passed away. Now he uses his experiences to help others.

Tommy said: “I was really scared to talk about my mental health at first because of what other people would think. Someone once called me a drug addict on the street because I was so skinny. People don’t think it’s a disease, they think it’s a choice.

“A lot of people told me that men don’t have eating disorders, it’s a female disease. So I was afraid to talk about it because I didn’t think I would be accepted by society. In fact, 25% of people with an eating disorder are men. This figure is likely higher, as many men do not seek help due to stigma.

“Self-stigma has affected me so much in my journey. People always look at me as this anorexic person, even though it’s part of my past; it doesn’t define who I really am.

More information at seemescotland.org/StigmaSurvey.

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