Wear a green ribbon to help end stigma & discrimination about mental health

On Thursday 1st October, See Change, Ireland’s organisation dedicated to ending mental health stigma, will virtually launch their Eight Annual Green Ribbon Campaign.  

The Green Ribbon campaign aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health to help end stigma and discrimination. By wearing the Green Ribbon – an international symbol for mental health awareness – you show you are committed to influencing positive change   

We all have mental health but during these difficult times (Covid-19) it's more important than ever to look after our mental health.  This October will host the 2020 Green Ribbon Month (usually held in May) encouraging everyone to start a conversation and wear the Green Ribbon to show their support.    

Kick-starting this year’s campaign, See Change will hold two virtual launches for Dublin and Cork, with Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu and a host of other speakers taking part.   

See Change is Ireland’s National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership. Funded by the HSE National Office of Suicide Prevention, the partnership is made up of over 100 Irish organisations and 60 ambassadors who work together to open minds about mental health problems and end mental health stigma and discrimination.      

Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said, “We know from evidence through the work of organisations like See Change, that speaking out about mental health helps to overturn generations of stigma by shifting outdated attitudes and challenging discrimination. We need to work together to make long lasting positive social change.”  

Green Ribbon will run virtual events throughout the month of October which will have an array of different speakers focusing on the workplace, the voices of lived experience, and partners of See Change, on the topics of discrimination, behaviour and societal change. You can find out more about these events on the See Change website and social media throughout the month.  

Recent research* illustrated the struggles that many have:  

  • One out of five people (22%) would conceal mental ill health from their family  
  • 78% of people would feel comfortable discussing mental ill health if a friend or family member asked.   
  • Over half (59%) of people would live with someone with a lived experience of a severe and enduring mental illness.  
  • Almost all of the people (94%) would work with someone with a lived experience of a severe and enduring mental illness.  
  • 44% of people would disclose personal experience of a severe and enduring mental illness to their work colleagues.  
  • Over a third (36%) of people would disclose personal experience of a severe and enduring mental illness to their human resources department.

Whilst some of these figures show that people are more open to a conversation about mental health however the survey also showed that people did not have a real understanding of severe and enduring mental illness.   

Coinciding with the recent launch of See Change and Mental Health Ireland’s Living with Covid 19 Return to Work Guide, this year’s Green Ribbon campaign focuses on the importance of sharing how you really feel. See Change believe that our country is in need of conversations about mental health now more than ever, and the Green Ribbon has been a symbol of hope to many in helping start those conversations.   

Everyone Can Get Involved  

There is still time to order Green Ribbons by emailing admin@seechange.ie with your full name, delivery address (including eircode), contact number, email address and ribbon quantity, or by placing an order directly on the website www.seechange.ie

Alternatively, you can pick up a Green Ribbon during the campaign at your nearby Boots, AIB or Eir stores as a symbol for starting conversation about mental health.  

For more information visit the See Change website here.

*See Change and the YOULEAD group, based at NUI Galway