75% say they now feel more comfortable in having conversations about mental health

New research from See Change shows the effectiveness of the Green Ribbon campaign

Written by Elise Goitia


See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership, have released their 2016 Impact Statement on what their Green Ribbon campaign has accomplished this year for World Mental Health Day.

See Change is an alliance of organisations working together through the National Stigma Reduction Partnership to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviours toward people with mental health problems. They began this campaign in May with a month-long national campaign to get people talking about mental health.

In May 2016, over 500,000 green ribbons were distributed to spark a national conversation about mental health across Ireland, spreading awareness to schools, college campuses, art venues, homes, and many more. Their aim was to make the month of May a month of challenging the stigma of mental health problems and promoting open conversation of mental health.

After the campaign, See Change did a survey to measure the effectiveness of Green Ribbon 2016. The results showed great positive indicators. Many Irish adults said that they feel more comfortable starting conversations now with friends, family, and colleagues on issues of mental health. You can read the full report here.

Some of the findings in the survey are as follows:

  • 71% of Irish adults say the Green Ribbon campaign has encouraged them to start conversations about mental health (up from 66% in 2015).
  • 91% of adults acknowledged the importance of talking openly about mental health in Ireland (up from 86% in 2015).
  • 75% say they now feel more comfortable in having conversations about mental health (consistent with 2015).
  • 65% have been hearing conversations about mental health among family and friends since the campaign (up from 62% in 2015).
  • 61% have been hearing mental health conversations in their workplaces since the campaign (up from 53% in 2014 and consistent with 2015).

Some of the simple tips the Green Ribbon campaign used were “talk, but listen, too: simply being there will mean a lot”, “take your lead from the person: as a first step, ask them how best you can help”, and “avoid the clichés: phrases like ‘cheer up’, ‘I’m sure it’ll pass’ and ‘pull yourself together’ definitely won’t help— being open minded, non-judgemental and listening will.”

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