Swindon awarded funding to tackle mental health stigma

Swindon has been selected to tackle the stigma of mental health locally after applying to become a Time to Change Hub.

Time to Change Swindon will join over 40 Hubs across England to help change the way people think and act about mental health problems.

Made up of Swindon Borough Council, Age UK, AWP, Phoenix Enterprises, IPSUM, Swindon & Gloucestershire Mind, Swindon STEP, Stratton Parish Council, The Olive Tree Cafe and local champions, the Hub will combine the insights of the national Time to Change campaign with local knowledge. They will support communities, workplaces and schools to take action to end negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems in their communities.

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Mental Health Champion, said: “I’m delighted that Swindon has become a Time to Change Hub. We’ll be working with many local providers to highlight the support available in the town to make sure we’re all looking after our mental health, in the same way we look after our physical health.”

Time to Change, the national campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, launched its first regional Hubs in March 2017.  The announcement of eight further funded Hubs, including Swindon, is part of the campaign’s three-year plan to establish a network of Hubs across England to provide a focus for local campaigning work.

Since their initial launch, Time to Change Hubs have successfully campaigned to end mental health stigma and discrimination. Their work has ranged from stopping a stigmatising theatre show ‘Psycho Asylum’ from touring the country to supporting Time to Talk Day (7 February 2019), running events and delivering campaigns aimed at improving understanding and respect for people living with a mental health problem.

Jo Loughran, Director at Time to Change, said: “When one in four of us will fight a mental health problem in any given year and suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 40, it’s vital that we come together to end mental health stigma. Our network of Time to Change Hubs are able to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in their community.”

Picture: partners in the Swindon Time to Change Hub met yesterday at Swindon Borough Council’s Civic Offices