Stigma & Discrimination

Within the soul of all human beings, there lies an innate spiritual knowledge that has the power to repair mental disturbances… not through analysing their thoughts, but by seeing the power of thought itself “

Sydney Banks, The 3 principles of human existence – Mind, Consciousness and Thought.

See Me campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination

See Me is Scotland's Programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.  They are funded by Scottish Government and Comic Relief and are managed by SAMH and The Mental Health Foundation

For more information go to https://www.seemescotland.org/ 

Human Rights and Mental Health

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates into domestic law the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and came into force in October 2000.

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms entitled by everyone in the UK. This means treating people equally - with fairness, dignity and respect. It also means that public bodies such as government, local councils, the NHS and the police must abide by human rights in all their deliberations and activities.

The Scottish Human Rights Commission is an independent public body which is accountable to the people of Scotland through the Scottish Parliament. It has a duty to promote awareness, understanding and respect for all human rights – economic, social, cultural, civil and political and to encourage best practice in relation to human rights within a devolved policy context.

For information go to www.scottishhumanrights.com

For information on mental health and human rights go to www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Rights for Life: A Declaration of Rights for Mental Health in Scotland

The Rights for Life Declaration is a statement of the rights that people experiencing mental health difficulties in Scotland have said is important if they are to benefit from their rights. It reflects the key tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

For more information go to www.rightsforlife.org.

To download the Rights for Life: A Declaration of Rights for Mental Health in Scotland and the Change Agenda visit our Information and Publications section.

Age in Mind (Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination of people over 50)

Age in Mind was a three-year project to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination of people over 50 in Scotland, a collaborative partnership between the Scottish Mental Health Cooperative, and funded by See Me – the national campaign to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.

Action in Mind was the lead organisation, working with and on behalf of the Scottish Mental Health Cooperative, delegated to deliver this project across Scotland.

The project’s key objectives were to identify areas of stigma and discrimination that directly impact on older people’s mental health and wellbeing and, through the model of change networks, to effect positive action and change.

Key activities and outcomes included:

The creation and development of four change networks – Central, Highland, East and West of Scotland.  These comprised older people with lived experience of mental illness, local groups and organisations

Self-stigma workshops in Central and Highlands of Scotland which led to the creation of a self-stigma training package that can be delivered by older people themselves

Promotion of mental health training within general nurse training, including research into the current situation and development of a simple training plan which will allow for standardisation of good practice in mental health training in all universities.  Initially this was being taken forward in meetings with Scottish government and Nurse Education in Scotland, and following completion of the project this was delegated to See Me.

Production of two short films about mental health stigma and discrimination within families.  Screenings took place during the Luminate Scotland and the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festivals in October 2017. Additional activities included film and animation workshops for Change Network members, particularly older people with lived experience of mental health difficulties, and a press campaign regarding family stigma reported in the Glasgow Herald and also nine local newspapers, websites and social media.

Campaign to challenge upper age capping of mental health services at 65, and reduced services for people with functional mental health.

  • Awareness raising within local health and social care services
  • Meetings with MPs and MSPs, including the Minister for Health
  • Scottish Parliamentary event to draw attention to the mental health inequalities of people over 50, which attracted over 70 attendees
  • Participation at the Cross Party Working Group for Older People and Mental Health
  • Training in how the Scottish Parliament works and the processes of engagement with elected members of the Age in Mind Change Networks.


Stephen McLellan, Chair of the Scottish Mental Health Cooperative said:

“The Scottish Mental Health Cooperative were delighted to have worked in partnership with See Me on the Age in Mind project.  We feel that the joint work has added a considerable new perspective to the evolving narrative around age and mental health.

We are very appreciative of the coordinating and mentoring role which Action in Mind offered and how this contributed to the overall success of the project” (Extracted from Action in Mind: Annual Review 2017-2018).

The Age in Mind project findings, along with published Literature Review, were presented at a closing event in October 2017 and can be accessed from our Information and Publications page.  The video can be accessed from our Press and Media page.

Action in Mind needs your support to make the places where you learn and study or the local communities and neighbourhoods where you live to become better informed about and understanding of mental health.  Together, we can make a real and positive difference to people’s lives by bringing an end to mental health stigma and discrimination by creating a pathway of positive mental wellbeing for everyone.

For more information about The Collective AiM and how you can become involved click Join Us, email info@actioninmind.org.uk or call 01786 451203 (office hours)

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