There is no shame in having a mental health difficulty

“In 2019 I developed anorexia, aged 36. At that time, I could not find anyone else like me living with this mental illness. Shame and self-stigma became part of my thoughts. Because of the lack of any relatable narrative, I found myself feeling alone and different.” Eoin Kernan, See Change Ambassador.

See Change, the national programme dedicated to ending the stigma and the discrimination that often surrounds mental health, are to launch its 10th Annual Green Ribbon campaign which will run across the month of September.

The idea behind the campaign is to get as many people as possible to help end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health. In the past, people often did not talk about any issues they were having, preferring instead to ‘bottle’ them up inside, for fear that others might think they were different.

The public are invited to wear a Green Ribbon (details of how to get one are listed below ) to show others that you are willing to talk about mental health and to discuss the problems that people face every day in a more normal way. See Change is reminding everyone that you don’t have to be an expert to start a conversation.

The theme for the campaign this year is ‘shame’ – the key message being that there is no shame in having a mental health difficulty.

Speaking about the importance of the Green Ribbon campaign, Barbara Brennan, said “I am very proud of the work that my team at See Change is doing to help normalise conversations about mental health. The Green Ribbon campaign is key to creating a culture where people can openly have conversations about mental health without fear of being shamed or rejected.”

Official See Change events will take place for free across the country during the month of September, which you can register to attend via Eventbrite. People can pick up a free Green Ribbon at participating Boots Pharmacy, AIB Bank branches, Iarnrod Eireann stations, and eir stores.

Anyone can register on Eventbrite to get your free ticket, and you are welcome to share these events with your family, friends and colleagues.

Speakers at the launch will include Caroline Conroy, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mary Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Older People, and many others – it will be hosted by See Change Programmes Leader Barbara Brennan.

The launch in Cork will take place on Tuesday September 6th from 11:00 – 13:00 at the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow, Co Cork. Speakers include the Mayor of the County of Cork, Danny Collins, amongst others and again, will be hosted by See Change Programmes Leader Barbara Brennan.

Nicola Byrne, CEO of Shine said “By prompting a national conversation about mental health and encouraging people to educate themselves about mental illnesses, we hope that through our See Change Green Ribbon campaign, we will help to eradicate the stigma and shame that many people living with a mental health difficulty experience today.”

“Talking helped and continues to help. It dilutes the shame; it erases the stigma. We need to talk about mental health, and mental illness – the differences between them, and how they impact each other. I’m very proud to be associated with See Change in helping to do just that.” Eoin – See Change Ambassador

 

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