Breaking down mental health discrimination in Newhaven

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Funding has helped kickstart an innovative scheme in Newhaven to tackle the stigma and discrimination around mental health.

The money came from Time to Change, which is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, with funding from the Department of Health, Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund.

The programme distributes grants to local community led projects to improve people’s attitudes to mental health.

Newhaven Community Development Association said it would use the grant to bring people who do not have mental health problems into social contact with those who do.

Evidence suggests that this kind of contact is one of the most effective ways of breaking down stigma and discrimination.

Plans for the project include Chill and Chat workshops using media, TV, film, song writing and art, Stop and Chat stalls at community events and flash mobs around the town.

Lead youth development worker Kay Watts, from NCDA, said: “We are delighted to have received the Time to Change grant.

“We have bold plans to really transform the way people in our local community see mental health problems by encouraging conversations and offering them the chance to find out more about mental illness.

“Just a few small words can make a big difference to someone with a mental health problem and talking about the issue can really help to break down the stigma and discrimination.”

NCDA is looking for other young people aged 11 to 25 years to get involved.