At least half a million Danes suffer from mental illness right now. For most people it is temporary and they get well again. For others, the course is more drawn out or the illness is recurring. No matter what, they are one of us.
Many of us don’t know enough about mental illness and many prejudices flourish about people with mental illness. It could happen to anyone that they, more or less deliberately, exclude people who suffer from or have suffered from mental illness. Knowledge and good advice about how to meet people with mental illness will improve this. That is exactly what the campaign ONE OF US is launched to do.
What does stigmatisation mean?
Stigma means a “negative characteristic”, which is attached to a person as a “social mark”. When we mark each other because of mental illness it has several severe consequences. The pain of not being part of society makes you more vulnerable. It makes it extra hard to be ill and can block for a meaningful life and e.g. the job market. It can also prevent people from getting treatment in time. And that is costly; for the individual and for society.
The purpose of ONE OF US
The purpose of ONE OF US is to de-stigmatise mental illness in Denmark; So, no more discrimination and elimination of people who suffer from or have suffered from mental illness. In the campaign, we express it like this: No more silence, doubt and taboo about mental illness.
Specifically, the campaign will work to
- increase the Danes’ knowledge about mental illness
- lessen the distance, which leads to stigmatisation, prejudices and social exclusion
- create a better understanding of mental illness in schools, in the workplace and everywhere else where lives are led.
The campaign ONE OF US
The nation-wide campaign ONE OF US was officially launched on September 19th 2011 and continues to 2015. The effort is launched with a national campaign including targeted regional and local activities.
The campaign will focus on five main themes, where the target groups are service users and relatives, young people (especially students), the workplace, staff in health and social services, the media and the general population.
Become a volunteer
An important part of the campaign is the involvement of volunteers who suffer from or have suffered from a mental illness, are relatives, are active in organisations for service users or relatives, are managers, colleagues, students, politicians or something else, it doesn’t matter. Because we need every possible resource to be successful with the ONE OF US campaign.
The partners behind it
Behind the campaign is a strong network, namely “The Joint Effort”, which was formed in 2010 by the parties: The Social Network of 2009, The Danish Mental Health Fund, TrygFonden, Danish Regions, the five regions, KL, The Ministry of Social Affairs and The National Board of Health.
Furthermore, a subcommittee has been formed, consisting of representatives from groups of service users and relatives, professional societies, professionals and the regional psychiatric information centres.
The campaign is managed nationally by the ONE OF US-secretariat, which resides with The Danish Committee for Health Education in Copenhagen. To ensure local support, regional coordination groups have also been formed.
If you have questions or ideas, please contact project manager for the campaign Johanne Bratbo at firstname.lastname@example.org or project coordinator Anja Kare Vedelsby at email@example.com . You can also call at 3547 5747.
A coordination group has been established for each region. Below you will find the contact person for your region:
North Denmark Region
Inge Garde Andersen, Tel: +45 9631 1215, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Denmark Region
Helle Vestergaard Ibsen, Tel: +45 7847 0044, e-mail email@example.com
Region of Southern Denmark
Ulla Lindgren, Tel. +457 572 4090, mobile +45 2018 2196, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Mette Billekop, Tel. +45 7025 0260, mobile +45 4036 5378, e-mail: email@example.com
Capital Region of Denmark
Caroline Osander, Tel. +45 3864 1303, mobile +45 2963 9729, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org