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Want to end mental health stigma? Get talking

The Green Ribbon campaign aims to get people talking about mental health and help break the stigma.

Image: Sad via Shutterstock

MORE THAN HALF of us don’t want others to know if we have mental health problems – and over a quarter would delay seeking help because we’re afraid of others finding out.

That’s why the Green Ribbon Campaign is kicking off today: to promote open discussion of mental health.

The campaign is organised by See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership. It aims to encourage people to talk about mental health in order to stop discrimination and end stigma.

Green Ribbons

During the month, 300,000 green ribbons will be distributed across the country at Irish Rail stations, Citizens Information centres and MABS offices during May.

Meanwhile, conversations about mental health will be sparked at the hundreds of local and national events.

There are 90 partner organisations, hundreds of volunteers and 50 campaign ambassadors with real-life experience of mental health problems taking part, all of whom are ready to share their own stories to help others.

What are attitudes to mental health like in Ireland? According to See Change:

  • 56 per cent of Irish people would not want others to know about their mental health problems
  • 28 per cent would even delay seeking professional help for fear of others finding out
  • 57 per cent of Irish employees believe being that open about mental health in work place would have negative impact on career prospects

John Saunders, director of See Change, assured people:

You don’t have to be an expert to start talking about mental health and wearing the Green Ribbon is a simple way of standing up to the silence that breeds stigma.

You can get involved by picking your free green ribbon, downloading the supporters’ pack, add the Green Ribbon to your Facebook profile picture or Tweet using #GreenRibbonIRL.

You can also find out about the Green Ribbon events happening around Ireland this May by visiting the website.

In addition, National Time to Talk Day will take place on Friday May 16, where people are encouraged to talk about mental health with family, friends and colleagues. You can also tweet using the hashtag #TimetoTalk.

Read: Over half of Irish people wouldn’t want others to know about their mental health problems>

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