So last week was mental health day and it seems this was on a lot of people’s mind as it was all over social media and on the television. This is a way forward but mental health is more than just one day and it affects thousands of people.
Why should this be spoken about on other days apart from awareness days?
As great as it is raising awareness for mental health it doesn’t seem to make those suffering with mental health want to talk about it much more. For those suffering with mental health it is more than just one day for us, it is our whole lives. There is still a stigma around this and we need to speak about this more than just the days we are expected to!
As there is a taboo around mental health many people suffering will not seek help for their illness and as result this can have a huge consequences to some. I am sure you are all aware of the amount of people who take their own lives each year, well part of this is down to not wanting to seek for help as they are automatically seen as week. This is something which I can relate to for years I suffered not telling anyone and I ended up being so poorly I was in hospital. Life is too short and we should be all working together to stamp out the stigma!!
Mental health changes who we are, what we look like and how we feel. It is a crippling illness and it can change from minute to minute. I have included some photos below of how much the illness can affect you. These photos are taken within a matter of months and the difference is unreal! On the left was when I felt alone and didn’t want to be here, due to crying and stress my face was swollen. The right hand side is me being able to get through the day slightly and put my ‘mask’ on to the world.
How can we stamp out the stigma?
Well this is something which won’t happen over night and we need to work together as a society to show this is not anything to be ashamed of. We need to make this acceptable and we can do this by speaking about mental health. Listening to those suffering and show that life is worth living, we let too many people slip through our fingers and its time we became a support network to help those in need.
I think one thing we all need to be aware of is we can support and provide advice but we need to show them this is work which they need to do, this is not easy work but it will be worth it in the end.
We can provide them with the tools they need, but we can’t force them to use the tools.
What can I do to change the stigma around mental health?
Well there is so much which can be done, it is just not well-known/talked about. You can be help with being part of the Blurt campaign, this is all about talking about mental health and showing that there is nothing to be ashamed of. By us all working together we can change the world of mental health and provide support to those who need it most.
Lets keep working as a team to make Mental Health acceptable!!!
*All my own photos