The Mental Health Foundation is pleased to introduce Take the Load Off, a new online Like Minds, Like Mine campaign to reduce mental illness stigma and discrimination.
For the one in five 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's also one of the biggest barriers to recovery.
However, 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,” Mr Coyle says.
The stories shared will help to shape the campaign which will run from mid-July until the end of September.
To contribute your experience, visit www.taketheloadoff.nz
Keep up to date with the campaign by subscribing to the Like Minds, Like Mine newsletter and following the campaign on Facebook.
For further information or comment, please contact:
MHF Senior Communications and Marketing Officer
Phone: 021 233 8517
About Like Minds, Like Mine
Like Minds, Like Mine has been around for 20 years and is a public awareness programme to increase social inclusion and end discrimination towards people with experience of mental illness or distress. We do this through public awareness campaigns, community projects and research.
The Like Minds, Like Mine programme is funded by the New Zealand Government. The Health Promotion Agency is the lead operational agency for the programme, with strategic responsibility held by the Ministry of Health. National coordination and programme communications for the programme is led by the Mental Health Foundation.