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Time to Change

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Everybody has mental health, just as everybody has physical health. Both can change throughout life and, just like our bodies, our minds can become unwell.

The effects of mental health problems are as real as something like a broken bone despite the fact that there’s no plaster cast. Mental Health problems will affect one in four people over the course of their life.

According to Time to Change Wales:

  • Self-harm is a significant problem in Wales. As a result there are 6,000 emergency admissions to hospital per year.
  • 300 people die by suicide each year in Wales, 150,000 have thoughts of suicide. The rate of suicide for men in Wales is higher than UK average.
  • In 2010-11 there were 11,198 admissions (excluding place of safety detentions) to mental health facilities in Wales.
  • By 2020 mental ill health related problems will be second to heart disease as the leading contributor to the global burden of disease.

Despite how common mental health problems are, for some it’s still a taboo subject. Such stigma prevents those suffering from mental health problems from talking about it and, moreover, causes others to discriminate against them.

Nine out of 10 people with mental health problems have experienced discrimination or stigma

According to time to change, many people have experienced such discrimination in the workplace:

  • 4 in 10 employees are afraid to disclose mental health problems to their employer.
  • 1 in 10 who disclosed a mental health problem said colleagues made snide remarks, and 1 in 10 reported that colleagues avoided them.
  • People with mental health problems are at more than twice the risk of losing their jobs compared with the general population.
  • Fewer than 4 in 10 employers would consider hiring a person with a mental health problem, compared with more than 6 in 10 who would hire a person with a physical disability.
  • The Sainsbury Centre (2007) has estimated that impaired work efficiency (‘presenteeism’) due to mental ill health costs £15.1 billion, or £605 for every employee in the United Kingdom which is almost twice the estimated £8.4 billion annual cost of absenteeism.
  • At any one time, one sixth of the working age population of Great Britain experience symptoms associated with mental ill health such as sleep problems, fatigue, irritability and worry that do not meet criteria for a diagnosis of a mental disorder but which can affect a person’s ability to function adequately. A further one sixth of the working age population have symptoms that by virtue of their nature, severity and duration do meet diagnostic criteria (Office for National Statistics, 2001). These common mental disorders would be treated should they come to the attention of a healthcare professional. The commonest of these disorders are depression, anxiety or a mix of the two.

Time to change info

As an organisation, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is committed to ending the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems

We are working towards creating a working environment in which everyone feels able to talk about their mental health. Over the coming weeks, we will be signing the Time to Change Wales Pledge, looking at policies and culture to make sure the workplace is supportive of people with mental health problems, running anti-stigma campaigns, and promoting the messages externally to people who use our services.

We will also be looking for Time to Change Champions to share their experience of mental health problems and help others to come forward and deal with their own mental health problems.

If you're interested in becoming a Time to Change Champion, please email nicola.bevan3@wales.nhs.uk 

Read out Time to Change Action Plan

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