World Mental Health Day

10th October 2016

Today marks #WorldMentalHealthDay, a global day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world.

Here at Comic Relief, we are passionate about supporting projects that help people living with mental health issues and funding important work to help end the stigma that surrounds the illness. Over the past 30 years, we have funded 291 organisations in the mental health sector, totalling more than £33 million in the UK.

One of the initiatives we fund is Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and co-funded by Department of Health, Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund. It aims to change the way everyone thinks and acts about mental health problems.

Since the campaign began in 2008, 3.4 million people’s attitudes have improved towards mental health. More people than ever before feel able to speak out about their experiences and in doing so are helping everyone to open up to mental health.

While this progress in improving attitudes, raising awareness and opening up more conversations has been significant, it’s not universal. For some key sections of the population a lack of understanding about mental illness is still rife, notably for men. Suicide is the leading cause of death in men under the age of 45 and, every day, 13 families lose a father, a son, a brother, a partner to suicide.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the Time to Change campaign is set to continue thanks to an additional £20 million investment from Department of Health, Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund – with £5 million being provided by Comic Relief. We have supported the campaign since 2007 and are proud to have played a part in transforming public attitudes around mental health.

We also fund similar campaigns in Wales (Time to Change Wales), Northern Ireland (Change Your Mind) and Scotland (See Me) to make sure people living with mental health issues across the UK can live their lives free from stigma and discrimination.

To find out more about the Time to Change campaign visit www.time-to-change.org.uk.

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