Attitudes towards mental health have evolved enormously. Although there is still a disparity between attitudes to physical and mental health, it’s fair to say that there’s far less stigma around mental health than there was even a few years ago.
In this blog post we will explore how attitudes have changed and some of the catalysts behind those changes.
Social media has vastly increased the number of people we all interact with. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook make it easier to connect with other people or groups with similar challenges to yours. This creates a virtual support network.
Of course, the less personal nature of online communication does have its pitfalls; we all know about the dangers of cyberbullying and the well-publicised impact that over-use of social media can have on our wellbeing. The other side of this coin is many people find it easier to talk about their challenges through social media.
The resulting increase in the number of people talking openly about their mental health has worked to transform attitudes and reduce stigma towards people’s challenges.
Film, TV and other media
Mental health is being explored by the wider media in a more candid and less stigmatised way than ever before. Many complex and realistic portrayals of mental health in media have entered the public consciousness; storylines in soap operas and characters in films and other TV shows have become a part of ‘water cooler culture’ on many occasions, helping to start conversations about the subject in the media and at home.
High profile campaigns
Of course, it’s fair to say that some of the largest and most important factors in changing attitudes in society have been the numerous high profile campaigns of the last few years.
Charities like Mind, Mental Health UK, the Mental Health Foundation and countless others have worked tirelessly for decades to create public awareness of mental health. We’ve all seen huge campaigns like “It’s Okay Not to be Okay” for World Mental Health Day and celebrity champions for mental health causes.
More people talking about mental health and wellbeing has led to a much greater understanding of mental health conditions.
This has led many more people to recognise symptoms in themselves and those close to them, ensuring people are more able and willing to seek clinical help sooner. This has improved outcomes enormously.
We’ve seen attitudes towards mental health change enormously in our time working in this sector. It was common to see mental health difficulties as an acute challenge that you could solve quickly without lifestyle changes. Now it’s far clearer that mental wellbeing is an ongoing process with no shortcuts or easy fixes.
In the clinical world, this has led to a vast reduction on the amount of pressure on patients and clients. Clinicians, patients and their loved ones are far more supportive of the recovery process, and far more willing to make small changes for long term success.
Better signposting for help
Greater representation of mental health difficulties in the media has helped to create a more widespread acceptance of peoples’ challenges.
This has led to far more willingness for people to talk about their own challenges and how they have sought help. Mental health being far less stigmatised has made it easier to seek help than ever before.
This has been helped enormously by technology. Think about it; the first steps to securing mental health care is now just a Google search away. Before the internet, and before more accepting attitudes towards mental health, information and professional guidance was hard to come by.
The only option for many people used to be a visit to a GP or even a hospital. While a GP appointment is still absolutely the best starting point on your route to recovery, the wealth of information at our fingertips has made it far easier for people to understand their struggles and seek the most appropriate help.
More sources of clinical help
Similarly, there are far more ways to get help with your challenges now. Thanks to wider awareness, acceptance and understanding, mental health care is far more available.
Changing attitudes to mental health have led to a far greater provision of services under the NHS, as well as other services like Socium. We provide a number of services to our clients to help them navigate their care options and build a recovery plan.
For example, our dedicated case management service is ideal for our clients dealing with more complex challenges and multiple clinicians. Your case manager is an impartial, experienced professional who has a deep understanding of your case and the treatment options available. We work with you, your doctors and other clinicians to ensure your voice is heard and that you have a strong advocate.
Are you finding it difficult to manage all the appointments, prescriptions and homework that can often accompany mental health treatment? We can help take the pressure off. Please call us on 0203 384 0007 or leave us a message on our contact page to discuss our services