Darren Adam: Stigma STILL Surrounds Mental Health

21 September 2016, 11:59 | Updated: 21 September 2016, 12:29

There's been a lot of good work done to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health - but Darren Adam explains why it's still there and still causing big issues.

MPs have said that financial constraints mean it will be difficult for mental health to reach what they call "parity of esteem" with physical health problems. In other words, that mental health will never be taken as seriously as physical health.

It's a situation that sparked a strong reaction from Darren as he explained why that was still a problem.

"I do think one of the issues when it comes to this lack of parity of esteem between mental health concerns and physical health concerns, part of it comes down to stigma.

"It comes down to this idea that we're never going to have parity of esteem between the two approaches, or the two concerns, between physical health and mental health - because lots of people don't think there is parity between those two things. It's stigma that's at the heart of that difference."

Darren continued, talking about his friends' experience of depression: "Although it's never been said to them directly as far as I know, I know that people have sort of implied to them that all they need to do is pull themselves together.

"These are people who are, in every other sense, hale and hearty and gregarious...and they would absolutely be the people who got on with their lives, if they were able to do so.

"This idea that depression is somehow not real...it just doesn't stand up to analysis, to my experience of having friends who have been through very, very real depression.

"It may not be a physical, tangible ailment that you can point to, or treat with drugs by rubbing ointment onto it...it doesn't make it any less real."