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Mental health strategy aims to combat stigma

Getting help early and combating the stigma that surrounds mental health is key to helping people with depression live healthy, productive lives.

As today’s World Health Day focusses on depression, Staffordshire’s mental health strategy aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, and support those who are experiencing problems.

One in four people in the county will suffer from mental health problems during their lifetime.

Because of this, Staffordshire County Council, local NHS clinical commissioning groups and other local authorities are working together to ensure those with mental health issues are not prevented from living full, healthy lives.

According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

Dr Richard Harling, Director for Health and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Although progress has been made in the last few years, there is still a lack of understanding and a stigma associated with depression and other mental health problems.

“Although many people with mental health problems manage their conditions well and lead full and productive lives, people with mental health issues are much less likely to have a job, stable housing and their life expectancy is lower. This is unacceptable, and there is no reason why people with mental health issues cannot lead fulfilling lives.”

Staffordshire’s mental health strategy, ‘Mental Health is Everyone’s Business’ can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk. Just search for ‘mental health strategy.’