ASK FIVE: Bronwyn Carter, MIND Events Fundraising Coordinator

In June the ADPR team are walking the Jurassic Coast Path to fundraise for MIND, so as part of raising awareness about mental health, we interviewed Bronwyn Carter, Events Fundraising Coordinator.

How does Mind help people who are experiencing mental health issues? Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

What are mental health issues and how does it manifest itself? In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it. Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you’re frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

What can employers do to support people? At least one in six workers experiences common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. Our research shows work is the biggest cause of stress in people’s lives, more so than debt or financial problems. Stress can stop people performing at their best. We’re here to help with our Workplace Wellbeing Index, training and consultancy, and the new Mental Health at Work Gateway.

If I think my colleague is experiencing mental health issues what can I do? It can be really worrying when someone you know is going through a difficult time. Our information covers a wide range of mental health conditions and contain helpful tips on supporting someone. Check out the Mind website or call our Infoline on 0300 123 3393. Our team provides information on a range of topics including types of mental health problems, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments, and advocacy.

Manup. Normal. That’s mental. I must be crazy. Pull yourself together. Be more positive. That’s depressing. What impact can language have on individuals who are suffering with mental health issues? What can marketing and communications professionals do about this?  Here at Mind we know that language, and communication about mental health can have a huge impact on people’s mental health. Negative coverage and terminology can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, whilst accurate, positive portrayals of mental health can be a lifeline. Mind’s research shows that communication by media professionals about mental health prompt people to start conversations, seek help and support other people in their lives. That’s why each year we run the Mind Media Awards, which celebrate the best portrayals of mental health in the public eye and result in a better national conversation and provide another step towards a more supportive society.