YMCA Scotland has joined forces with YMCAs across the UK and Ireland to support a major mental health campaign, as new research reveals the damaging effects of negative language and stereotypes about mental health.
Research from YMCA showed that ‘psycho’, ‘retard’ and ‘attention seeker’ were among the most commonly used words, as two thirds (66 per cent) of young people who have seen or heard harmful words and negative stereotypes relating to mental health say it is simply part of everyday language.
More Than Words, published today on World Mental Health Day, as part of the YMCA and NHS #IAMWHOLE campaign, also showed that 44 per cent of those who have heard or seen negative stereotypes did so on a weekly basis, with young people coming across an average of 33 different words and terms.
Researchers spoke to more than 2,000 11-24 year olds and found that even though nearly nine in ten (88 per cent) young people who have come across stereotypes and negative words think they should be challenged, less than half (48 per cent) have done so.
The damaging impact of harmful language is evident as more than half (55 per cent) of young people who have been on the receiving end say it stops them from talking about their difficulties.
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