Mind Waves is about giving people a voice. We want to hear what people have to say about mental health and wellbeing, but importantly, we also want to to know what people with lived experience of mental illness have to say about other things.
Our Community Correspondent Peter Leckie is passionate about encouraging people to have their voices heard. He says,
“There’s quite a lot of us, people with mental health problems… It’s about time we came out of our shell and had our voice.”
Having a voice is about more than just telling your story. It’s about offering your perspective on the world; a perspective that is shaped by your experiences. Too often, the voices of people with experience of mental illness aren’t heard in the public sphere.
Perhaps the clearest and simplest way of having your voice heard is by voting. Peter is encouraging other people with mental illness to join him in voting in the referendum on September 18. He says,
“Please, please, please, use your vote on the 18th. It doesn’t matter, yes or no, who cares… it’s about you. The more of us that vote, the more we’ll show people.”
And if that isn’t a good enough reason to turn out and vote, there’s actually evidence that having a say over your life can make you healthier. The World Health Organisation statement on user empowerment in mental health says,
“the ability to exercise control and influence, even where high stress is present, can act as a protective factor against levels of disease risk (p8).”
So, if Peter and the World Health Organisation have convinced you, you can download the Electoral Commission guide to voting in the referendum. You have until September 3 to register.