Labour candidates pledge to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination

Besi Besemar October 12, 2014

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidates for Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven, Nancy Platts and Brighton Pavilion, Purna Sen were joined by Labour council candidates Caroline Penn for Hollingdean & Stanmer and Catherine Wilson for Regency to mark World Health Day on Friday October 10.

Photo from L to R: Local Mind worker, Caroline Penn, Nancy Platts, Catherine Wilson
Photo from L to R: Local Mind worker, Caroline Penn, Nancy Platts, Catherine Wilson

THE EVENT was held at the Community Pavilion on The Level and organised by the mental health charity Mind Brighton and Hove.

Work-related mental ill health is estimated to cost the economy up to £26 Billion a year in lost productivity, lost working days and staff turnover and is considered a ‘cinderella issue’ when it comes to funding and commissioning.

On Signing the pledge to break down mental health stigma, Nancy Platts said: “Mind in Brighton and Hove provide an essential service, to people in our City and I was delighted to make my pledge to challenge mental health discrimination. Good mental health is important to the individual but also impacts on our local economy.  I am calling on employers to be pro-active about ensuring the well-being of their employees and recognise that good mental health in the workplace is good for their business.”

Purna added: “It is shocking that 9 out of 10 people with mental health issues have suffered from some form of discrimination. When people feel isolated and stigmatised, it makes recovery slower and more difficult.”

Caroline Penn, Labour’s Council candidate for Hollingdean and Stanmer, said: “One in four of us will experience from mental health problems in any given year. By talking about mental health, it helps combat the stigma that prevents sufferers from seeking help and treatment.”

Caroline, who has been involved in the charity Time To Change’s campaign to end mental health stigma, was recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.

She continued:The amazing support from family and friends has made a huge difference for me. I urge people not to suffer in silence and seek treatment, either by visiting their GP or by contacting organisations like Mind or Mind Out who provide fantastic amount of help and advice.”