26 October 2015
Community Access Support Service event promotes positive discussions on challenging stigma
CASS team holds event at Wellspring Healthy Living
Centre to discuss the effects of mental health stigma
As part of the many and varied events coinciding with World
Mental Health Awareness Day on the 10th October, the
CASS team ran a short workshop on Tuesday 13th October
focused on mental health stigma. The workshop contained
presentations and information about the way in which stigma is
perpetuated through the media as well as everyday language and
The event (facilitated by CASS networkers Anna Balcerek and
Agata Palmer) was attended by representatives from several mental
health organisations in Bristol, including Rethink and Womankind.
Some of the discussions generated during the workshop included
perceptions of 'mental health' as opposed to 'physical health',
depictions of mental illness in the news media and information on
the various ways stigma is perpetuated socially and culturally.
Attendees also participated in conversations about how
inaccuracy about mental health in the media can contribute to
harmful stereotypes. Ideas were also raised about things that
people can do as individuals to combat stigma in everyday life.
Feedback from the session was positive, with attendees
commenting that they had enjoyed taking part in the activities and
felt "motivated to take action." The majority of attendees reported
that their knowledge of mental health stigma had improved at the
end of the session.
The Community Access Support Service works with community,
equality and faith groups to improve access to mental health
support in Bristol. An important part of improving access to
support for communities in Bristol is challenging stigma and this
initial workshop by the CASS team is hoped to be a good start.
Elaine Flint, CEO of Wellspring Healthy Living Centre,
commented: "I found the workshop really stimulating - it
highlighted the importance of taking personal responsibility for
challenging mental health stigma. It's also really important for
organisations to think about how we create workplaces that support
mental health and wellbeing."
For more information about CASS, please contact 0117 9119832 or