09 October 2015

Staff and service users debate mental health stigma at Callington Road talk show

How do we reduce mental health stigma? Where does stigma come from? Why aren't there more positive stories in the media about mental health?

These are some of the questions that arose during the lively, spontaneous discussion at a 'talk show' held today at Callington Road hospital in Brislington to mark this year's World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10th October).

"We really wanted to mark this year's World Mental Health Day by doing something a bit different. Something that would bring staff and service users together to share their thoughts and get a better understanding of what it's like to live with mental health issues," said Lucy Pike, a ward manager at Callington Road who came up with the idea of holding a 'talkaoke'.

A talkaoke is like karaoke but instead of singing when the microphone comes your way, you give your thoughts about the issues being discussed around the bright orange flashing table.

"Communication is one of the best ways to reduce stigma, and what better way to celebrate World Mental Health Day than by talking about it in such a unique format," Lucy added.

Some of the most common themes to emerge as participants came and went during their lunch break were the stigma attached to any kind of mental health diagnosis and where that stigma comes from, whether the media has the biggest role to play in changing people's attitudes towards mental illness, how we can promote positive stories involving mental health issues, how socially isolating mental ill health can be, and how individuals struggle with employment and retaining jobs.

Modern Matron at Callington Road hospital Michael Stynes said that despite the focus on mental health stigma, the discussion was really positive with staff and service users talking openly alongside each other about their experiences and successes.

Talkaoke host Mikey Weinkove said that this was the first time he and his Talkaoke crew have worked with this kind of audience. "It's been really insightful, there's a clear need to have a wider conversation to encourage more positivity about mental health," he said.




Contact: Sarah Pritchard, Communications Officer - Bristol Mental Health

Bristol Mental Health /

Working days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

Bristol Mental Health

System Leadership team

1 Colston Fort

Montague Place

Bristol BS6 5UB

e: sarahpritchard2@nhs.net

t: 07789 031617

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