At least half a million Danes have a 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 have or have had a 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 exclusion of people who have or have had a 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:
The campaign ONE OF US
The nation-wide campaign ONE OF US was officially launched on September 19th 2011 and continues to 2020. The effort is launched with a national campaign including targeted regional and local activities.
The campaign focuses 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 have or have had 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.
ONE OF US is part of The Global Anti-Stigma Alligence (GASA), which is an international network of different national campaigns aginst stigma. The aim of the network is for the menbers to share knowledge, evidence, materials and best practices.
The partners behind it
Behind the campaign is a strong network, which was formed in 2010 by the parties: The Danish Health Authority, Trygfonden, Danish Regions, the five regions, The Danish Mental Health Fund, The National Board of Social Services, The Danish Mental Health Network, KL and The Danish Committee for Health Education.
Furthermore, a resource group has been formed for each of the five main themes, 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 is located in Copenhagen. To ensure local support, regional coordination groups have also been formed.