Our goal is a better life for everyone affected by mental illness.
Imagine suddenly developing an illness in which you are bombarded with voices from forces you cannot see, and stripped of your ability to understand what is real and what is not. You discover that you cannot trust your senses, your mind plays tricks on you, and your family and friends seem part of a conspiracy to harm you. Unless properly treated, these psychotic experiences may destroy your hopes and ambitions, make other people recoil from you, and ultimately cut your life short. We all probably know a family who is affected, but the stigma is such that they may be keeping it a secret.
Serious and enduring mental illness can be a life sentence for you and your family. Your condition is likely to bring you worsening physical health too - the sad reality is that on average, people with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia die 20 years earlier than the rest of the population. And each year, around 6,000 people in the UK take their own life - 90% of them because of symptoms of mental illness.
These statistics are continuing to grow. Three million people in England are living with depression, and half a million more are receiving treatment for psychosis, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia . Many more people will be coping with these symptoms without having a diagnosis.
Mental illness affects more people every year in the UK than cancer. It accounts for 24% of illness in the UK, but receives only 13% of NHS funding. The need for increased investment to address the inadequate provision of mental health services is impossible to ignore.
At Rethink Mental Illness, we know there are many more people who need our help, and this number will only grow as public services around the UK continue to shrink
Rethink Mental Illness has over 40 years' experience of helping thousands of the most vulnerable people to realise they are not alone. We reach 60,000 people across England every year through our services and we provide information and advice through a national helpline, over 100 factsheets and a network of 130 support groups. We know there are many more people who need our help. Cuts to benefits and everyday support are biting so hard that, in the worst instances, they are leading vulnerable people to take their own lives. This cannot be ignored. Please support our work and help us change the experience of people facing mental illness now.