A guide to using the #MyRightsMyMind petition

Two Rights Advocates running a stall where MP Janet Daby is signing the petition
Our Rights Advocates Zee and Bethan ran a stall at an event in parliament, where lots of MPs signed up to the petition and took the #MyRightsMyMind pledge. This is MP Janet Daby adding her name.

Why are we petitioning now? 

Right now, the government and the NHS are making plans to improve the mental health system. They already know that mental health is a huge problem and have set money aside specially to help young people get better support. Great – right? 

Well, it could be. But it could just be more of the same. We don’t want to see vital funding spent on patching up a system that’s so clearly broken. We won’t stand by while new targets are set without even listening to the people who are affected – us. Instead, we’re demanding a system that puts us at the centre and meets our human right to have a say in the decisions that affect our lives. 

Who are we petitioning? 

We’re targeting “decision-makers” in the mental health system. This means anybody with power to choose where money gets spent and shape what services look like. Our system has lots of decision-makers, from the Prime Minister to the manager of a local youth counselling service. A lot of decisions are made at the top, but actually, what services look like in your local area will mostly come down to local decision-makers.  

The system is pretty confusing, and every local area will look a bit different. So instead of petitioning just one person in the system, we’re targeting them all. This way we can tailor the campaign for each local area and the decision-makers who have the power there.  

What are we asking for? 

Whether a decision-maker works at a national or local level, whether they are a politician or a healthcare professional, or whether they are part of the NHS or a charity-run service – they have a duty to make sure that they are making decisions that help to meet our human rights.  

“With great power comes great responsibility” – Spiderman 

With the petition, we’re calling on decision-makers right across the mental health system to take their responsibility to respect our human rights seriously, by taking the #MyRightsMyMind pledge.  

By taking the pledge, they promise to shift their focus away from tight budgets, tick boxes and hollow targets – and instead put our human rights at the centre of their plans for improving the mental health system.  

Once we have those decision-makers on side, we can focus on holding them to their word and, together, building a system that really meets our rights. 

See more about the right to mental health and what the #MyRightsMyMind pledge means here

What’s the point of a petition? 

1. Proof

To build a mental health system that meets our human rights, we are asking decision-makers for some big changes to business as usual. These changes will take effort, they will cost money and they will take time. So it’s up to us to prove to them that it’s worth it.  

Our petition is a way to show decision-makers right across the system that there is genuine support for our demands. We are also trying really hard to build the number of signatures in specific local areas where we have teams of Rights Advocates. This way they can show decision-makers in their local mental health system that they have the support of local people. 

2. Pressure

By showing decision-makers that we have the support of lots of people, we’re not just showing them that focusing on our human rights is a good idea. We’re showing them that we won’t let them ignore their duty to meet our rights when it comes to mental health. 

Every person who adds their name to this petition is another pair of eyes watching those decision-makers and checking that they are acting with our rights in mind. Every signature is another voice, joining our ever louder call for change.  

When we stand together, we are so much more powerful. 

3. Power

Have you ever made a snowman? Do you remember rolling up that first bit of snow into a ball, then pushing it along the ground to pack on layer after layer of snowflakes? At first, it grows little by little, until soon you have something huge that gets bigger and bigger with every little push. 

Think of the petition like this snowball. Right now, we’re growing our base of support. Every name we add is another person who supports the campaign and who might want to join us in taking action. They might share the petition on social media. They might add their email address and start helping out a local group or organising events. They could get loads more supporters on board. Each of those new supporters could recruit more people, take more action and put more pressure on decision-makers.  

The possibilities are endless, and our potential is huge. So let’s keep rolling that snowball and building our power!