Mental health matters to each and every one of us.
Mental health matters just as much as our physical health, yet too often it is ignored, misunderstood and neglected. It is one of the biggest public health issues of today, impacting all aspects of society. It is simply wrong that 330,000 people in Britain lose their jobs each year due to mental health, or that one in 10 children has a diagnosable condition.
We must change the conversation on mental health. At The Royal Foundation we will continue to tackle stigma and encourage more people to talk openly about mental health. We want to ensure that everyone’s understanding of the need to keep mentally fit is on a par with what we know about the need to eat healthily and to exercise. We are also supporting new services so people can find the right help they need, at the right time, and in the right place for them.
Our Heads Together campaign, which convened eight charity partners with one voice, encouraged more people in Britain to talk openly about mental health than ever before, and more people started accessing services as a result. But this was just the start.
Children's mental health
One in ten children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once before the age of 11. Children should understand what it means to have mental health and be aware of how to manage it, and teachers play a vital role in making this happen.
In partnership with Heads Together charity partners The Anna Freud Centre, Place2Be and Young Minds, The Royal Foundation launched Mentally Healthy Schools, a website for primary school staff giving them access to hundreds of quality-assured resources, advice and information to help them better understand and promote children’s mental health and well being.
Mental Health at Work
Most of us spend the majority of our time at work, but it is the place we are least likely to talk about our mental health. Heads Together research showed that as little as 2% of us would feel comfortable talking about mental health in their workplace, which is having a drastic impact on the UK workforce.
Working in partnership with Mind, The Royal Foundation has been developing tools to help employees and employers improve their mental health at work. We have recently launched an online gateway to resources, training and information providing the tools needed to make workplace wellbeing a priority in any organisation.
Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. The stigma surrounding it and fear of judgement can stop people for reaching out for the help they need when they need it. Through The Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign, launched in 2016 and spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex, we brought together 8 charity partners and set out to change the conversation on mental health, building on the decades of work they have already done.
The tides are turning and people are starting to feel more comfortable talking about their mental health, but better tools are needed to help people start a conversation wherever they are, and whenever they need to talk.
People need help building the confidence to talk about how they’re feeling, and digital innovation is required to help these conversations happen – wherever that person is, and whenever they need it.