Another hugely succesful Challenge Stigma event invited more thought provoking discussion about stigma in Inverclyde

The second part of our Resilience Network Challenge Stigma event revisited the Oor Bairns workshop from February’s event. This time we delved deeper into the lives and stories of our 12 bairns we met as babies in part 1.

Each of our 12 children have their own unique background and circumstances and in the workshop we tried to understand what stigma the children could face, how it could impact them and what could be done to support them. In our scenarios, a teacher had asked each child to draw a picture of their family and these images helped us visualise the situation.

Our 12 children made up a diverse range of stories and included scenarios of children struggling with poverty, bereavement or mental health; we also discussed families affected by problem drug or alcohol use, and families with a parent in prison, as well as New Scot families; our scenarios also included LGBTQ+ families, families with a young Carer and a discussion about sectarianism.

Our scenarios are based on real experiences that event organisers have encountered during their lives and careers, both third and public sector.

Attendees brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the discussion from many different perspectives: third sector, public sector and, crucially, people with lived experience of stigma made invaluable contributions. We want to especially thank contributors from Jericho House who added so much insight to the discussion.

One of the common themes of the discussion was the importance of education and empathy. We agreed that many of our children faced stigma due to a lack of understanding in wider society (such as in school or health and social care settings).

One contributor made a powerful point: the biggest lie any child can tell themselves is that they’re unlovable and if this isn’t challenged then it will lead to all sorts of problems later on.

Everyone was able to bring their passion, knowledge and experience to the discussion especially when we theorised what could be done in each situation to support the child and challenge the stigma they could face. This really highlighted the organisations, resources and initiatives available locally, whether for the third or public sector, that people can use when they need support. Finding ways to help people to engage with these and take part in community activities was an another important theme.

We concluded by encouraging everyone to share their thoughts about what the outcome of the event should be using Slido.

We’re so grateful to everyone who attended and contributed to the discussion. This is a conversation that will never stop. We will utilise the positive response of the Challenge Stigma events, keep the momentum going, and help us challenge stigma in Inverclyde.

We urge everyone to watch our interviews with Inverclyde residents discussing their expereinces of stigma and resilience – click here.

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