Opinion: Support our mental health campaign

Photo: Mystic Politics via Flikr

Photo: Mystic Politics via Flickr

This week Lincoln Labour Students launched a campaign, ‘REVISE’, in order to introduce awareness of mental issues, reduce stigma, and improve services for mental health conditions both nationally and on campus, writes Karman Hussain, a member of Lincoln Labour Students.

I find it extremely worrying that mental health still has a negative stigma attached to it in today’s society. However, I think it is important to go beyond just a mere observation of attitudes towards mental health and actually do something about it. The REVISE campaign seeks inform and educate students and the residents of Lincoln about Mental Health issues.

One in four people are affected by mental health issues, which is significantly more than heart disease or cancer. This fact alone should make people realise that mental health needs to be at the centre of health policy and the NHS. Mental health is a serious issue and deserves the same recognition as physical illness.

REVISE seeks to ensure that the next government does everything possible to make sure mental health issues get the same parity of esteem with physical health. Official figures showed that NHS spending on children’s mental health services in England has fallen by more than 6% in real terms since 2010.

A better standard of care will have a positive impact on those affected by mental health issues and also on NHS waiting times. Effective care will enable patients to access services quickly and reach out to those unlikely to come forward because of the stigma attached to mental health.

The REVISE campaign will also look at including the teaching of mental health issues in the National Curriculum so people have a greater understanding from an early age.

I am honoured to be chairing this campaign alongside Lincoln Labour Students. The campaign has already received wide acknowledgement from Lincoln Labour candidate, Lucy Rigby and many councillors around the City of Lincoln.

I met with various people last year to discuss the plans for the campaign including Christine Fox, Mental Health Advisor at the University of Lincoln Wellbeing Centre and the SU disabled students’ officer. We will continue to work with the SU, politicians, and others to bring this change and to achieve the aims of the REVISE petition, which are listed below:

  1. To improve awareness of, and reduce stigma towards mental health issues
  2. To promote mental health aftercare for individuals suffering with physical conditions
  3. To increase the resources available for mental health services

I am also pleased to announce that I am hoping to run the Lincoln 10k in order to raise money for a local mental health charity in Lincoln. You can like the Facebook group to keep up-to-date with my progress.

The team working on REVISE would love to hear your views so please e-mail labour@lincolnsu.com with any questions.

 

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