Challenging Attitudes to Mental Health
Many people with mental health difficulties continue to face negative attitudes in Ireland. Recent research published by the the NDA found that almost half of the general public thought that children with mental health difficulties should not be in the same school as other children. Only 7% thought employers would employ people with mental health difficulties and only 2 out of 5 respondents agreed that people with mental health difficulties should have children if they wish. Attitudes towards people with mental health difficulties have not improved significantly since the NDA ran a similar survey in 2001.
The NDA ran the first phase of a major nationwide advertising campaign in December 2007- January 2008 to challenge these attitudes and break down stereotypes. This was launched by Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Disabilities, Dr. Jimmy Devins T.D.
Research showed the first phase of this campaign was very successful, reaching about a quarter of the adult population with its message, and positively influencing public attitudes to people with a mental health difficulty.
The campaign’s TV, radio and bus shelter advertisements feature a number of people who have experienced mental health problems, including a prominent GAA personality, a journalist, a prominent chess player and a senior business figure. Their stories and their notable achievements in their sporting, work and family lives show us that all around us, people who have had a mental health difficulty are living their lives to the full.
The NDA carries out annual programmes of work on mental health issues. This work is guided by the NDA’s Mental Health Advisory Committee. The Mental Health Advisory Committee is drawn from people with experience in mental health difficulties, carers/family members, non-statutory organisations, professional bodies, statutory and non-statutory service providers and the Department of Health and Children.
Page last updated: 03/26/2012