Time to Change Wales held its Stigma Symposium on 15 September 2021 – this was a virtual event organised by Time to Change Wales and with a panel discussion chaired by its partner EYST. Time to Change Wales shared findings from the scoping research carried out to explore the mental health stigma experienced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in Wales. Speakers from the BAME Mental Health Services (BMHS), Diverse Cymru and the African Community Centre (ACC) Wales discussed how a lack of cultural sensitivity and mental health stigma can lead to delays in seeking help. 

At the Stigma Symposium, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle MS, gave the opening address where she talked about how Welsh Government are committed to challenging mental health stigma and discrimination across Wales, and outlining the importance of improving outcomes in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and areas of poverty and deprivation, as well as offering her reflections on the key themes raised in TtCW’s research. 

Time to Change Wales’ scoping work took place over the last six months and the findings were presented at the event. The Stigma Symposium enabled Time to Change Wales to showcase its progress to date as well as its ambition for the future. During the event, TtCW Champion Brian Fakhir shared his personal story of why it is important for men to talk openly about mental health problems, and Ashton Hewitt, who is a Welsh rugby union player who also plays for the Dragons, talked about his experiences with racism, particularly within the context of rugby in Wales, and shared an important message of tackling mental health stigma in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. 

Time to Change Wales is the only anti-stigma campaign in Wales delivering at a national scale and holds an impressive track-record of delivering evidence led, insight driven campaigns. Between 2019 and 2021, the campaign enabled a 5% increase in positive attitudes, representing roughly 120,000 individuals in Wales and its profile and credibility amongst employers has resulted in nearly 200 employers signing up to tackle stigma. This accounts for over 300,000 employees in Wales – nearly 1 in 4 of the Welsh workforce. 

Thank you to all of the keynote speakers and audience members for making the symposium a success. We really appreciate your continued support in tackling mental health stigma and discrimination in Wales. 

Follow this link to watch the Stigma Symposium. 

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