Council pledge to tackle stigma of mental ill-health

The leader and chief executive of Argyll and Bute Council have given the authority’s backing to the national ‘see me’ campaign which aims to end discrimination associated with mental ill-health.

Councillor Roddy McCuish, Sally Loudon and ‘see me’ campaign director Suzie Vestri signed a pledge to tackle the stigma associated with mental ill-health before the start of Thursday’s full council meeting in Lochgilphead.

Alongside the formal pledge signing, Argyll and Bute Council also agreed an action plan which will raise awareness of the ‘see me’ campaign and publicise the help available to people in Argyll and Bute who may be experiencing mental ill-health.

Suzie Vestri said: “We welcome Argyll and Bute Council’s commitment to work with ‘see me’ to end discrimination against people with mental illness.

“With one in four Scots affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives, everyone has a role to play in ending negative perceptions of mental ill-health. We hope that Argyll and Bute Council’s positive action will encourage more local authorities throughout Scotland to join us in tackling the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental ill-health in their local area.”

Councillor McCuish said: “We wish to see an Argyll and Bute where we all understand how to look after our mental health, how to support the mental health of others and highlight what support is available.

“We can see the strength of feeling and support for this pledge throughout Scotland and in adding our names are actively making a contribution to the well-being of our communities.”

Mrs Loudon added: “We are proud to pledge our support to the ‘see me’ campaign. Our employees are our greatest asset and better awareness of mental health issues will help us to support them more effectively.

“Our action plan will build on support provided through our employee counselling service and the mental health newsletter we produce with NHS Highland, as well as improving their understanding of how to cope with any issues they experience in their own personal lives.”