East Antrim MLAs have given their support to a new campaign encouraging the public to share stories of those who have taken control of their mental health to lead fulfilling lives.
David Hilditch and Roy Beggs attended the launch of ‘You Can Take Control’ in the Long Gallery at Stormont, backing a campaign that hopes to begin a public discussion about recovery from mental ill health.
The campaign was launched by mental health charity MindWise and is aiming to promote a positive message that, in spite of stigma and fear, many people can take control of their mental health and live a rewarding life.
The charity, which has a supported housing service in Carrickfergus, has set up a YouTube channel where service users and volunteers have uploaded videos telling their story, and is encouraging the public to share their own experiences online.
MindWise Chief Executive, Edward Gorringe said the charity is delighted to have the support of local political leaders and encouraged the community in East Antrim to upload their own videos.
“It is a commonly held belief that people with a mental health issue or illness cannot live a normal and fulfilling life; they cannot ‘recover’. Such misconceptions prevent people from seeking out the support they require,” he added.
“MindWise want to share the belief that they can take control; encouraging them to find the support they need to lead fulfilling lives.
“We are very encouraged by the support from our politicians, many of whom have spoken to us about the help they have given to their constituents dealing with mental ill health.
“Our volunteers and service users have started uploading their own stories and we hope that others can follow suit and celebrate their own achievements. We want people to know they can lead a good life with a mental ill health diagnosis.”
The You Can Take Control campaign videos can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/MindWisenv. Volunteers can upload videos directly to the site or by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org