Why Talking About Mental Health Is Important (Even More So Now)

18th-24th May is Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK. I couldn’t let the week go passed without at least one post about mental health. Due to the current global pandemic, I feel that now more than ever it’s important to be able to open up about our mental health and not feel ashamed or judged for talking about it

The Importance Of Talking About Mental Health

My own mental health journey started a long time ago, probably as early as childhood. I have a vague memory of seeing a child psychologist but can’t remember the outcome, neither can my mum. As a teenager growing up in the 90’s I saw through television and the media that speaking about mental illness was something that a person shouldn’t do, it was something to be ashamed of or a sign of weakness!! I saw family members deal with depression and vowed that I wouldn’t want to rely on medication. Because of that when I realised that I might be suffering from depression I refused to make an appointment with a doctor, I didn’t want to talk about it with friends and family.

I internalised the majority of my feelings until it got the point in my early 20s where I tried hurting myself with scissors. I showed a friend what I had tried to do, to this day I am not sure why I did it or why I showed her. I guess that was my cry for help, I wanted someone to see that I was in pain. Seeing her reaction made me realise that I cannot internalise my struggles anymore and that I need to speak up about depression.

After speaking to a doctor and taking anti-depressants I began to feel better. I’ve been off and on anti-depressants ever since. I honestly cannot remember what it feels like to be normal and not touched by some form of mental illness.

If I had continued to be stubborn and not talk about it, not show my friend what I had tried to do I do not what path my life would have taken.

It is so important that if you or someone you care for is showing signs of mental illness, to encourage them to speak up, to make a doctors appointment and get the help. If I had continued to be stubborn and not talk about it, not show my friend what I had tried to do I do not what path my life would have taken.

Now More Than Ever

With the majority of lockdown measures still in place, especially in Scotland. Many people are feeling alone because they haven’t seen friends or loved ones in weeks. They feel that they have no-one to turn to or nothing to feel hopeful about. In the past nine or ten weeks, I’ve had more than a few moments of loneliness, and I have my son and husband with me. I can only imagine what it is like for people on their own.

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This is why we need to speak openly about mental health. It is 2020 yet mental health is still seen by some as a taboo subject. It is still thought of as being weak. I’ve seen men, in particular, talking about their mental health, with comments like man up. It’s this stupid way of thinking that it is no surprise that in 2018 male suicide accounted for three-quarters of all suicides in the UK, three quarters!! Many of which might have been preventable if society didn’t treat the subject of mental illness as something one simply doesn’t talk about.

I know that we all have a lot going on at the moment and that we cannot check in on all of our friends and family, but if you can spare a few minutes here and there, get in touch with someone you think might be struggling with their mental health right now. You never know a simple “hi, how are you?” can make a huge difference.


If you feel that you are in need of support please contact your nearest helpline such as the

Samaritans

Young Minds

And please know that you are alone.

9 thoughts on “Why Talking About Mental Health Is Important (Even More So Now)

  1. Your story sounds a bit like mine. My depression and anxiety started in my childhood as well I believe, same with fibromyalgia. I can remember the pain that just never went away, always being sore, tired, and sad. I had a great childhood and had no major trauma’s during it but still always had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right and that my friends never seemed to feel that way. My pre-teens and teens were in the 90s so I encountered a lot of the same way of thinking. It wasn’t until my 20’s when I started to realize I needed to tell someone. A friend of mine at the time who was in university taking psychology confronted me and said he knew something was wrong and I confided in him and he helped me and helped me get help. I truly think he saved my life at the time. Talking about mental health is so so so important and I agree with you that now more then ever it is important to talk about mental health and remove the stigma and encourage people to open up and get help. Thank you for your post, it’s so important!

    Kadie ♥ The Great Canadian Housewife & A Story About A Girl

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. It is strange when I look back I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t exhausted or in pain either. I’m so glad with your friends encouragement you got help. N x

  2. i agree talking about mental health is so important. In 2015 I checked myself into outpatient therapy. The therapist helped me get over my anxiety and depression.

  3. Great Post, thank you for sharing. One thing I never did was spoke about how I was feeling. I ended up getting very low, I lost my job and struggled. But being more open and with the path life led me down it is much better, and if I begin to feel like that again I have a great support network I can turn to.

    1. I’m sorry that you got very low and lost your job. I’m glad you have a great support network around you. It makes such a difference having people there who understand.

  4. Speaking out about mental illness is so, SO important, especially with the onset of lockdown. Yet, so many still remain ashamed of their mental health issues and I see that all around me. As someone who isn’t afraid to tell people that they’ve suffered, it makes me sad to see so many people hide it.

  5. It is indeed important to talk about mental health, and let’s keep this conversation going 24/7 so that no stigma remains and people can freely get the help they need

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