For many years society has belittled mental illness, making those who suffer from illnesses including depression and anxiety to feel that they are weak, not worthy and alone. According to a reports 1 in 4 people in the UK experience some sort of mental health issue each year. With the number of people who self harm or have suicidal thoughts has increased rapidly. This statistic shocked me. As someone who suffers with mental health issues I didn’t realise that so many people were affected by mental illness. Maybe I was being naive or ignorant, or maybe it’s because there is still a stigma when it comes to discussing and understanding mental illness, that many people feel embarrassed to talk about their own struggles. One thing I did know as soon as I read that statistics is that something has to change. People should feel like they can speak openly about mental health.
On Instagram I saw a post that Gary from @daddy_dilemmas and his wife Suzy of @forever_a_mum bad posted about #projectendstigma where they shared the statistic of 1 in 4. I knew instantly that I had to be part of this movement and that I HAD to do whatever I could to encourage more and more people to open up about their own mental health journey. We as a society need to keep the narrative open, we need to must help those who want to speak out feel safe and non judged by opening up.
Do Your Part To Help!
Talk About It
They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. It might sound silly but opening up and speaking about how you are feeling is a good idea. I know from personal experience that talking or even writing about my struggles has helped lift a load off my mind and shoulders. You never know the person you are speaking too may have gone through a similar experience that they were too scared to talk about and could open uo to you as well.
Speak to a family member or friend who you trust, they don’t need to give you any advice all they need to do is listen, be understanding and give you a hug if you need it. Alternatively if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone you know, speak to your GP or call a dedicated helpline.
Share, Share and Share
Spread the word that its ok to not be ok, that mental illness isnt something to be ashamed of. Take to social media and show your support for those who are mental health adovates and are trying their bext to end the stigma. Share your own personal stories and keep the conversation going. It’s not only important to be talking about mental health during awareness week, it’s important to talk about it all the time.
Thank you for reading and if you need anyone to talk to I am here and happy to listen.