Let’s Talk About Mental Illness

See Change is Ireland’s national programme dedicated to ending mental health stigma and discrimination.  

Research was recently carried out on their behalf which found that almost three quarters (72%) of people say they would not want to live with someone with a severe and enduring mental illness, despite the majority (75%) saying they don’t know what a severe and enduring mental illness is.

A severe and enduring mental illness is a term used by many in the mental health field to describe a person whose mental health problem is long-lasting and requires ongoing supports and/or treatments.

Worryingly, the research also reveals that half (50%) of people would not want to work with someone with a severe and enduring mental illness.

The survey results show that just 16% of people associated the term ‘severe and enduring mental illness’ with a mental health disorder or condition.  See Change suggest that, with so many people struggling to identify with the term ‘severe and enduring mental illness,’ more work needs to be done to find new ways of making the language around mental health more accessible. 

When it comes to asking for help, encouragingly the research found that three in four people say they would reach out to a professional if they were to struggle with their own mental health, with this sentiment higher among females and older age groups.

They recently launched a new guide Let’s talk about Mental Illnessbased on this research.  The aim of the guide is to help people understand more about mental illnesses and the impact that stigma can have on people with mental illnesses. 

We all need to work together to challenge any shame and stigma and to create a culture where people can openly have conversations about mental illnesses, without fear of being ridiculed or rejected.