A TALK on the efforts being made to tackle mental health stigma in the region has been hosted by Durham University.

The well-attended meeting to discuss stigma experienced by young people with mental health difficulties on June 3 attracted interested parties from across the North-East .

The event in Durham City was organised by Dr Patrick Welsh from Durham Universities Mental Health Research Centre and included presentations from two national anti-stigma campaigns.

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Dr Sara Evans-Lacko form the Institute of Psychiatry in London presented research findings linked to the Time to Change campaign whilst Yvonne Collins and Phoebe Windebank outlined the work of the charity YoungMinds in challenging stigma in the North-East.

Before introducing the speakers Dr Welsh said: “Stigma is a serious problem faced by many young people who have mental health problems. Negative attitudes and behaviour from strangers but also friends and family members are often experienced leading to depression, isolation and an unwillingness to seek help and support.

“ However the work of programmes such as Time to Change and YoungMinds here in the region is encouraging and we hope that by the end of today people can apply what they have heard in order to promote more positive and understanding attitudes towards mental illness”.

It is hoped that the event, which was funded by the Wolfson Research Institute will be the start of more research and lectures on this topic. For more information contact: s.m.williams2@durham.ac.uk