We want to help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by training, supporting and informing the wider community.
The Reachout Challenge is an anti-stigma campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst public sector employees and the wider public. We do this through information sharing and talking about our lived experience of mental health so the wider community has better understanding of the realities of living with mental health conditions. We have a number of formats we use including information stalls, formal training and dialogues to communicate our message. We provide a myth busting sheet which educates and informs people.
We have worked with over 25 groups that people with mental health problems often come into contact with e.g. regularly deliver user-led training at the internationally recognised crisis and hostage negotiator training at Hendon Police College. We also train emergency services and faith groups. Further local activity this year includes volunteers attending Co-Op stores to raise public awareness as well as donations for our worthy cause. This project benefits all people with mental health conditions, public sector workers and their clients, volunteers and staff of Hear Us, and more.
What are the problems or issues that the project will address?
There is still considerable stigma associated with mental health as well as ignorance and naivety. Through empowering people with mental health challenges to speak out and have a purpose, we enable us (both our volunteers and members) to become an active member of the community and help with the recovery journey.
We have found from the feedback that we have received that the interactions have changed attitudes to aid understanding and improve the experiences of services being provided. By increasing coverage and reaching more services and the wider public we can make a real difference to the experiences of people within our community. In the long term, we would consider franchising the product to make it financially self-sufficient.
Volunteers: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and would like to know more click here or give me a call to have an informal chat about how you would like to get involved.
Organisation: If your company would like some mental health awareness training, please do contact me.