Tower Hamlets board tackles mental health stigma in the East End

The stigma and discrimination over mental illness could soon be wiped out in London’s East End with new strategies being worked out by GPs and health authorities.

The public is being asked to give their views on the strategies in consultations just opened which run till October 11.

The Health and Wellbeing Board for Tower Hamlets has declared a commitment to reduce discrimination as part of the strategy to improve and open up health services to those who need them who fear being judged.

The health board’s draft strategy is being developed with Tower Hamlets Council and the GPs’ Clinical Commissioning Group.

The council’s cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Abdul Asad, said: “People suffering mental illness should be able to get the support and services they need without fear of judgment.”

The strategy aims to challenge the stigma and discrimination with the public signing of a pledge by the authorities, taking place at the Town Hall in Blackwall on October 10.

Dr Sam Everington, who chairs the GPs’ group, said: “Mental health is something that affects us all, how we think and feel about others and how we cope with difficult situations.

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“We want to hear the views of people to make sure all mental health services offer a good experience to patients, carers and families.”

The consultation has an online survey at, while opinions can also be emailed to

It is all part of a ‘Time to Change’ anti-stigma campaign run by the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The two charities began the campaign to end the discrimination that surrounds mental health.