MENTAL health needs to be a key focus for workplaces, education and health care in West Dunbartonshire to stop people facing unfair discrimination.

That's the view of mental health organisation See Me which is encouraging people struggling with their mental health to speak up about how they are feeling.

It says mental health needs to be a key focus for workplaces, education and health care in 2019, to stop people being treated unfairly.

See Me wants this to start with this years Time to Talk day on February 7, a day for everyone to talk about mental health.

They want people and organisations in West Dunbartonshire to hold Time to Talk events, which could be in gyms, cafes, at coffee mornings, in dedicated areas in workplaces and schools or anywhere else where people can chat about how they’re feeling, whether good or bad.

The most recent research into mental health shows that people aren’t willing to speak about how they are feeling, for fear of the reaction they will receive.

Last year’s Our Voice survey found that only four out of 10 people are willing to speak to their manager at work about their own mental health.

As well as that almost seven out of 10 of people have witnessed others being treated differently or unfairly because of their mental health problems.

A survey of 1,455 young people, carried out by See Me, also found that only 26 per cent would tell someone if they were finding it difficult to cope, and only 31 per cent would tell someone if they had a diagnosed mental health condition.

Calum Irving, See Me director, said: “People with mental health problems face unacceptably high levels of stigma and discrimination.

“We all have mental health and any of us could go through a period where we struggle.

"In these times we need the help and support of those around us to give us the best chance of recovery.

“So we want to see workplaces, communities, schools, health providers in West Dunbartonshire come together to talk about mental health this year, starting with Time to Talk day.”

The call is being supported by West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership .

An HSPC spokesperson told the Post: "We have a dedicated team of professionals who offer support to anyone affected by mental health issues in our community.

"The HSCP is actively supporting the See Me, Time to Talk Day on February 7 and would encourage all local employers and organisations to consider how they could be involved in getting mental health conversations started.

"Having a listening and compassionate employer, colleague , friend or family member is often the first and biggest step we can take to better mental health.

Supporting each other to talk without fear of prejudice is everyone’s human right.”