Magazine to challenge mental health stigma

27 February 2018, 07:26

Edinburgh University

A new magazine is being launched in a bid to challenge sexism and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Fearless Femme aims to help young women who are struggling with mental health issues, as well as to to push for policy change.

It is being launched at Edinburgh University by former academic Dr Eve Hepburn, who herself suffered from a breakdown after her boyfriend died suddenly when she was 19 and the loss of her step-brother to suicide.

Dr Hepburn, who workers as a senior lecturer at the university, set up Fearless Femme after noticing an increasing number of female students suffered from mental health difficulties

She said: "After experiencing a breakdown and losing my step-brother, I decided it was time. I needed to stop people from killing themselves, to let them know that they weren't alone, and that they were going to get through it."

Almost half (46%) of females aged between 11 and 21 having sought help for mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and eating orders, research for the Girl Guiding Association found.

Minister for mental health Maureen Watt will be at the event, along with new university principal, Professor Peter Mathieson.

Ms Watt said: "Scotland is committed to helping our young people improve their mental health and tackle problems head on. To do that, we need to open up the conversation, encourage people to talk about their mental wellbeing and reduce the stigma around discussing mental health, particularly in the Year of Young People.

"Projects like Fearless Femme make an invaluable contribution to that. The launch of this magazine is yet another example of the innovative work going on across Scotland to support young people."

Professor Mathieson added: "The mental health of all of our students matters greatly to us. I am delighted to support this particular event with its focus on young female students and LGBTQ+ students."