In autumn 1996, under the Presidency of Dr Robert Kendell, the College decided to mount a campaign to tackle the stigmatisation of people with mental illnesses. In 1997, a working party proposed goals, content, process and a 5-year governance. Other campaigns, both here and abroad, have either generically addressed ‘mental health problems' (e.g. Mind's ‘Respect’ Campaign) or targeted a specific mental illness, e.g. the World Psychiatric Association's anti-stigma campaign in respect of people with schizophrenia. Our working party decided that it might be timely to recognise the differences in public attitudes to the variety of mental illnesses. The campaign thus addressed six categories of mental illness: anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, schizophrenia, the dementias, eating disorders, and drug and alcohol misuse/addiction. Target populations were identified as doctors, children and adolescents, the workplace, the media and the general public. The working party had also secured funding and arranged for a survey, in July 1998, by the Office for National Statistics of opinions of the British public concerning people with these mental illnesses (Crisp et al, 2000). The Campaign started on 7 October 1998. Since that time, and drawing upon our survey findings within its initial literature review (Kelly, 1999) the Department of Health mounted its own anti-stigma campaign, ‘Mind Out for Mental Health’, which addressed a similar range of mental illnesses.
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