Spring 2010 editorial: All change?
Time to make our voices heard
As this issue of One in Four goes to press, the UK is readying itself for one of the most hard fought general elections in years. Sometimes, amongst all of the talking heads on television and the endless chatter of media pundits, it can be easy to turn off and feel that no matter who you vote for, the government gets in.
In this election, coming as it does in a time of economic downturn, we as people who care about mental health have an opportunity to make sure that whichever party (or parties) get to form the next government, they are aware that mental health is one of the most important issues facing millions of people.
Mental health cuts across party divides and across a number of difficulties that people face (see our article). It is a personal issue, something measured out in the quality of people’s lives, but one that has a huge impact on the country as a whole.
Millions of people are affected by mental heath difficulty, be it experiencing difficulties themselves or being friends, spouses, lovers, daughters, sons, colleagues or relatives of those who do. As we work to break down stigma and build a country where people feel more comfortable discussing their difficulties without being judged, we will find that there are more people than we ever imagined who have experienced mental health difficulties, or who are experiencing them now.
During any election campaign and in the early life of any government, politicians are looking for new ways to connect with voters and new ways of making the country better. Mental health and wellbeing is something that needs to be taken seriously, trying new ways of helping people get sorted and supporting and developing things that we know work.
It’s up to all of us to make sure that we make our voices heard about the importance of mental health to the country. As was said at the One in Four conference change takes time and effort, so we have to take every opportunity that we can to make our point.
Use this chance to contact parliamentary candidates and ask them what they’ll do for people with mental health difficulties. If you do nothing else, turn out to vote on election day 2010 for the political party that you think will most help the mental wellbeing of the country.
In February, One in Four launched a campaign asking readers to support our work and help us change minds by taking an individual subscription to the magazine.
As we go to press the campaign has raised over £1000.00 thanks to the amazing generosity of all of you brilliant people. At a time of such economic uncertainty your belief in us makes a huge difference.
Go to http://bit.ly/c639O7 and see if you can help too.
See you next time for our second birthday issue!