Updated: Jul 5, 2020
It's time to call time on discrimination and stigmatisation around all 'protected characteristics' in the NHS, including lived experience of mental health problems in professionals. Integrated cultural change is essential.
Let's be clear, experiencing mental health difficulties is no minority issue. Emerging research and staff lived experience networks in Trusts are showing this in our helping workforce. Many just don't 'see' this, because it is still too unsafe to 'come out' for some. Some protected characteristics will be more visible than others.
We need systemic change and for Health organisations to open their eyes to the very human makeup of their providers. None are immune to experiencing mental health difficulties. Last time we checked, Healthcare recruitment was still drawing from a human sample?
It's time we opened up, because silencing causes suffering, we see this at in2gr8mentalhealth, in our own journeys and the journeys of other professionals who have come to us for support. They feel they have few spaces to talk in safely that understand how to navigate the particulars of provider mental health stigma. We are here to help, we'll be saying more about that after summer!
Dr Natalie Kemp & Dr Anna Chiara Sicilia