AIM attempts to meet its object of enabling and empowering the local community to address all issues surrounding mental health in an effort to tackle discrimination and to reduce the stigma felt by people with mental health problems in a variety of ways.
The newly formed group in 2003, continued with the function of planning successful World Mental Health Days (WMHD). Many of the early days focused on reducing stigma and challenging discrimination and many of the local campaigns mirrored the themes chosen by the World Federation for Mental Health. Campaigning now happened all year long and some of the issues included: young people (including the Crisis Card still used today); mind and body; complementary therapies; and the mental health of older people. Recently, AIM has supported the ‘Mind in Action’ campaigns such as Building Solutions, Debt and Mental Health and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.
AIM now supports national campaigns at all times of the year. In 2006, AIM became involved with National Men’s Health Week. Its theme was ‘Men and Mental Well Being’. A successful football tournament was organised by Jim and Dan Armstrong.
Every WMHD since 2004, AIM have organised an ‘AIM Challenge’ to raise the profile of WMHD and of AIM itself (and sometimes involved asking for sponsorship). Many of the ‘challenges’ have been physical – climbing the high points of Newcastle or embarking on walks, for example. In 2008 and 2009 these challenges have been badged under Time to Change’s ‘Get Moving’ events.
In 2009 and 2010 AIM embarked on an Open Up Initiative in partnership with Launchpad, tackling discrimination faced by some service users. Open Up is also part of Time to Change (the national campaign aiming to end mental health discrimination). AIM launched the Open Up Initiative with anti-discrimination workshops in North Shields and Newcastle upon Tyne.