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Service user-led Time to Change Wales campaign launched today
21 Feb 2012 (updated: 21 Feb 2012)
Time to Change Wales (TTCW) a service user-led campaign aiming to reduce the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems will be launched by Health and Social Services Minister Lesley Griffiths AM at the Wales Millennium Centre this evening.
The campaign, which is funded for three years by Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief and the Welsh Government, is being supported by leading Welsh mental health charities Gofal, Hafal and Mind Cymru.
Commenting on the campaign Minister for Health and Social Services Lesley Griffiths AM said: "I am pleased the Welsh Government is able to co-fund the campaign whose central aim is to change negative attitudes and behaviour towards mental illness by inspiring people to work together to challenge stigma and discrimination."
Time To Change Wales Programme Manager Ian Cutler added: "With one in four people in the population experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their life we should all be concerned about mental illness not only because of the obvious personal distress to the individual but also the economic cost estimated at £7.2 billion a year in Wales alone."
Describing TTCW as an "exciting initiative" Hafal Chief Executive Bill Walden-Jones, said: "Hafal's members, people with a serious mental illness and their families, are looking forward to joining with our partners and people across Wales to build a mass movement of service-users dedicated to removing stigma and discrimination backed up with appropriate publicity.
"The jury is out on what the most effective way to reduce stigma and discrimination might be so during the campaign we will monitor our approach to see what works and what doesn't work; we will also look beyond Wales for inspiration, too.
"What is clear is that no group which has been discriminated against has ever succeeded in tackling that discrimination without doing it for themselves, by going out and courteously but assertively challenging discrimination within their community and more widely in society."
For more information on Time to Change please visit: http://www.timetochangewales.org.uk/
For information on Hafal please visit: www.hafal.org