Headspace aims to tear down ‘The Big Stigma’ of mental health

headspaceAs alarming new research reveals 52 percent of young people were too embarrassed to seek help in the last year for mental health issues, not-for-profit youth organisation Headspace has unveiled a new national awareness campaign.

The campaign, unveiled at Melbourne’s Southern Cross station today, invites people to tear off one of the 3,500 pieces that make up the dome-shaped structure, representing the embarrassment and reluctance to speak about mental health.

Stigma is a significant deterrent to young people seeking assistance, as three out of four people fail to get the help and advice they need.

The research was funded by an NHMRC Partnership Grant to the Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health in partnership with Headspace.

Dr Natalie Gray, the chief medical officer at Headspace, said it is important to break down the barriers of people seeking help.

“About a quarter are too embarrassed to even tell their family doctor -  we want to open up the conversation so people are comfortable talking about mental health,” Dr Gray said.

“If anyone feels not quite right in themselves, and you can’t even explain it, it’s so important to have a talk to somebody.

“Many young people that are experiencing these issues, they feel so alone. What they don’t realise is so many young people are experiencing the same thing, and telling someone and realising there are treatments out there can be such a huge relief.”

Three out of four people who experience a mental health issue throughout their lives do so before they turn 24.

Radio and TV personality Dave Hughes is a supporter of the campaign, after experiencing mental health issues of his own when he was young.

“Let’s get rid of the stigma, just talk to people,” he urged.

“If you’ve got a problem, you’re not alone.” To read more click here.

The 17th International Mental Health Conference will be held at the brand new Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, QLD from the 11 -12 August 2016.

You are invited to join us as we address the conference theme “Guiding the Change” across the broad spectrum of mental disorders. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

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