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Break the Stigma - Let's Be Open about Mental Health

11 May 2017

 

The 'Let's Be Open About Mental Health To Break The Stigma' campaign was set up to help start conversations about mental health, raise awareness, and to help people across Bedfordshire understand more about the subject, dispelling common misconceptions.

The campaign centres around a specially designed board, on which people write their thoughts about mental health. Messages written are photographed with their author, and used on-line, or at local events. This has resulted in some powerful statements from local people about mental health issues.  

The campaign was set up by Ben Salmons from Ampthill. Ben works full time for East London NHS Foundation Trust who provide mental health services in Bedfordshire and Luton. Ben first suffered mental health issues during his teenage years and tried taking his own life in 2011 due to his mental health problems. Now well on the road to recovery, he is determined to ensure people know it is OK to ask for help if they need it. Ben said:

“I didn't open up about my mental health problems for many years due to the stigma surrounding it. The reason I set the campaign up was to prevent other people ending up where I did, when I became very unwell. The campaign aims to encourage people to talk openly about mental health and access help if they are not feeling well. When I heard someone was inspired to go to their GP for help with their mental health difficulties from seeing the campaign, it meant the world to me to know this had made a difference to someone's life.”

Ben has photographed hundreds of people over the last eighteen months, including members of the general public, mental health author and vlogger Jonny Benjamin, Dave Hodgson Mayor of Bedford, Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police Jon Boutcher and local MPs.

If you would like to find out more about the campaign or get involved with it or if you would like to write your message on the board, you can get in touch with Ben by emailing ben.salmons@elft.nhs.uk or through facebook or twitter  

 

Break the Stigma - Let's Be Open about Mental Health

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