It’s not just education news we’re interested in here at Young Academic, being the nation’s number one site for the young and intellectual we make sure we keep you updated on absolutely everything that matters. As such, we can bring you great news regarding an initiative that has been endorsed by none other than the Deputy Prime Minister and can only be music to the ears of those with an interest in mental health issues.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hosted a reception to mark the achievements of the ambitious Time to Change programme which is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The campaign aims to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems once and for all.

The doors at Admiralty House were opened last Tuesday, where Mr. Clegg was joined by celebrities such as former England Opener Marcus Trescothick, broadcaster and TV presenter Fiona Phillips, TV presenter Trisha Goddard and writer and communicator Alastair Campbell. A host of other supporters were also present.

Since it’s lauch back in 2007 following funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief, Time to Change has gathered the support of over 89,000 people. Deputy Prime Minister Clegg was quick to thank everyone that has backed this fantastic campaign.

Nick Clegg commented; “Time to Change has been instrumental in changing attitudes to mental health across the country. This success has only come about because of those who have put so much energy into backing the campaign and been so brave in coming forward with their own very personal and sometimes harrowing stories. It is only thanks to their courage in speaking out that we can encourage others to do the same. I’m very pleased to support the campaign and to have had the opportunity to thank some of those involved in making such a difference.

“Challenging attitudes and behaviour is essential if we are to ensure that people with mental health problems feel able to talk openly about their illness, just like other physical illnesses.”

Since the inception of Time to Change, there have been vast improvements in public attitudes towards mental health. In fact, there has been a four per cent reduction in the discrimination that people with mental health problems report. To put this into perspective, this means that 23,500 more people are now living their lives free from the prejudice and stereotyping that existed before. As readers of Young Academic, the nation’s high brow education news site, we’re confident that these figures will never have included you guys – but you simply cannot ignore how encouraging this progress has been.

Having said that, statistics launched last week indicate that there is still a long way to go before the battle against discrimination is won. For example:

  • only 15% of the British public admit to being truthful all of the time about how they’re really feeling
  • younger people between 18 and 24 years are twice as likely (27%) to hide how they’re feeling compared to those aged 65 and over (12%)
  • further results show, a third of people confess the reason they’re not always honest is because they don’t want to depress other people (37%) or don’t like talking about how they’re feeling (35%).

With this in mind, the next phase pf the project as been launched, named ‘It’s time to talk. It’s time to change’. Following further funding from the Department of Health and Comic Relief to continue its groundbreaking work until 2015, the next stage will include a focus on tackling stigma amongst children and young people. 75 local community-led projects will also be launched as well as targeted work with black and minority communities – this will begin with a focus on the African Caribbean community around the United Kingdom.

Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, Peter Wanless, went on to comment:“I am very proud of the partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and Time to Change in its hugely successful first phase. The £16million investment through our Well-being programme has enabled Time to Change to make real inroads in successfully challenging mental health stigma and discrimination. I am also pleased to see that in recognition of the progress made, Time to Change’s work will continue, sustained by the Government and other funders. I look forward to seeing the campaign build on the foundations that BIG has funded in the years ahead.”

For all the developments regarding this excellent campaign, make sure you head back to Young Academic. Alternatively you can log straight on to www.time-to-change.org.uk
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About Author

Charles Whitworth is the Editor of the Young Academic publications. Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2008, Charles learnt his trade in newsrooms such as IPC Media and Sky. He has now developed as a top sports, music and current affairs journalist and has been printed in a range of publications including The Guardian. His interests include Cricket, Football, Rugby, Music and Current Affairs. Fresh from the editorship of Student Times he now takes the reins at Young Academic - the premier student news portal. Connect with me on Google+

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