Mental Health and awareness

Mental Health and awareness

Surely Not

Could it be true, mental health is beginning to get the recognition it deserves  

This week I have being thinking about the awareness mental health has and how this has changed incredibly over the past few years (I know we are nowhere near where we should be in talks of health and/or the ability to discuss without judgement.) When I first started on my long mental health journey, I was consumed and ashamed by the fact mental health had such a stigma, that you was crazy, weak and an attention seeker if you suffered with an illness that’s invisable – My first indication was back when I was 16 and I balled my eyes out at even the suggestion of going to see a therapist and utterly heartbroken that I was placed on a waiting list while my mind was crumbling around me. Now here we are at the disastrous age of 21, I have seen three different therapists, thought about the end, had outburst of tears and madness. Then on new medication that is helping to keep me at a level of sanity I can manage, with a blog I’m utterly in love with. That allows me to not only spread awareness but gives me the opportunity to openly admit my downfalls of mental health. Sharing my experiences of struggle, pain and loss honestly as I trip through my young adult years instead of bundling it up and trying hopelessly to forget about it. However, there wasn’t much talk of mental health issues when I first began to struggle, it seemed to be something that you would be embarrassed about and keep well and truly tucked away. I struggled to open up out of fear, embarrassment and maybe even, a little bit of me didn’t want to admit I was hurting or what I then thought was weakness. I felt ashamed but now so many years down the line I feel empowered and proud that I have almost come out the other side maybe a little stronger than before. ( I had a lot of help to get to this stage.)  

I feel mental health issues have not only become more of a talked about topic but they are being widely accepted in our society, (maybe as a trend or generally a battle we are all willing to overcome.) With several high-end celebrities and people our society look up to talking about their own mental health issues gives us all the hope that we are able to not only overcome but to raise awareness and end stigma of mental health issues. I want to live in a world and bring up my kids in a place depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are thought and talked about the very same as a common cold. We don’t run away from issues that we are all bound to come across at some point within our lives, but help each other and become a supportive network to decrease and ensure suicide rates fall to an all-time low.  As much as I understand mental health issues what does destroy me – is plain and simply the stomach churning suicide rates that steals young people away from the life they deserve because they couldn’t get the help in time or simply couldn’t fight no longer – we are all warriors but how much fighting alone can one person take? In 2018 there was 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, that was two years ago. 6507 lives taken, lost a battle, families heartbroken, what would the figures be now? Worse I imagine.  But yet they aren’t spoke about, we speak about The Royals, packed lunches and The Oscars in high debate. Which is infurinating in its self.

Although as a lifelong blade and almost obsessed football fanatic, I’m increasingly happy that, up and down the country football fans have taken a minute for mental health this weekend.  ‘Head up’ campaign has produced a heartfelt video that shows that even the most successful people will suffer with some aspects of mental health issues and that we can help to tackle this by being a supportive network and checking in on those closest to us, even if they seem ‘okay’. Heads up campaign – “Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives. Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.” The heads-up campaign is working for the following workplace wellbeing, mentally healthy schools, armed forces community and supporting maternal mental health.  

I’m insanely proud of the awareness mental health issues have improved, that has ensured an impact on sporting events especially. As well as in the creative arts such as festivals and music events. Lewis Capaldi has launched LIVELIVE for his tour in March 2020 which involves onsite counsellors, safe spaces, buddy system and help points for just an extra 50p a ticket. Imagine people who are suffering insanely with anxiety and various other mental health issues that are unable to get to festivals because they can’t face it.  I love the fact that having mental health issues isn’t an alone and suffering thing through my eyes now. I’m beginning to believe we are not alone when suffering and finally we can begin to talk about them openly without the insane word spreading through everyone’s minds the instant you mention you are pained mentally. I’m both proud and disappointed as a society, it shouldn’t have taken this long and we should be miles in front of acceptance than what we are however we are making tiny baby steps in to being supportive of mental illness.   It’s talked about and the awareness is slowly rising for the struggles people go through every single day.

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