This post began as a recognition of one of my favourite TV shows highlighting their ability to bring out tears in pretty much every episode and keeping my mum and I interested for as long as I can remember. They take on powerful mostly heartbreaking stories, that unfortunately happen every single day in the real world and push them infront of us every Saturday night. When in reality we tend to bury them under the carpet in a desperate attempt for them not to exist.
After recent events, I want to highlight (as many others have and will) the failure in the system around us, the stigma around mental health especailly in males and the long-suffering and mental failure we have to endure while waiting for a mental health evaluation or any kind of support; medical or therapy. During my search for help with my mental health I have been forgotten, ignored and passed from one service to the next several times over but I’m a lucky one because I’ve been able to express my feelings to some people without an overpowering self hatred and judgement pushed on to me the second I mention feelings. Many men will fail to reach out due to the fact they’ll be judged, thought less of and think they will no longer be a ‘man’. All because our society has pushed the belief on to us that men don’t feel and even if they do they are told and pressured not to express it as it makes them “girly”.
Getting help for poor mental health is difficult enough and you tend to be stuck on a waiting list for months at a time suffering day in and day out feeling worse by the fact you have reached for help yet it seems no-ones there to give the slightest amount of crap about you. We all know there is a stigma around mental health issues and actually reaching out when things are tough, in a society that is supposed to be turning a corner on supportive of mental health issues it’s still a topic we don’t like to dwell on. We still believe males don’t feel, they are tough and shouldn’t express their feeling in the slightest. Which is why this story in inparticular has hit me like a brick wall and frankly it broke me.
For as long as I can remember I have been watching the wonderful Saturday night drama that is Casualty. I have laughed, cried and I’m still utterly hooked on every second of the show, yes of course I’m a loser. Throughout the years every episode and each storyline has affected me differently, for example when my beloved Lenny Lions left the show I was on the verge of tears and hope every Saturday that a shock reappearance would occur (secretly still hoping) and he’d walk through the hospital like he never left, yet when Max and Zoe jetted off to the sun I was overjoyed, literally felt joy that my OTP finally had a chance to “make it”. When our all-time favourite paramedic Jeff Collier died we cried buckets, was definitely heartbroken and still haven’t recovered from that tragedy (thank you for haunting us Casualty) I know it’s just a show and I shouldn’t be this emotionally damaged by it but these events are all realistic in some manor.
Saturday 2nd March episode and the run-up to it was a whole different kettle of fish to the heartbreak Casualty had created before, this time I felt it like really felt it. Maybe because it’s pretty close to home and to understand the struggle of mental health issues is rather difficult. You don’t tend to notice the subtle changes of someone thinking about killing their selves. It’s the little things like giving some of their things away, throwing away clothes or packing their house up. Iain Dean had endured a lot of loss throughout such a short space of time and tried to reach out for help but unfortunately the waiting time was too much for him and he decided to try to end his life, we saw him let everything go and within his last days he looked like things were getting better maybe even a little happy but this was all because of the decision he had made.
This and the deaths that have surrounded us over the past few years due to mental health issues have opened my eyes yet again to the problems within surport and how we must improve the way we help people, I wonder if there wasn’t such a stigma around poor mental health especially in males we wouldn’t be mourning amazing people such as Robin Williams, Chester Bennington and more recently Mike Thlassitis, these are deaths that have been in the public eye yet there are many more men, women and children suffering and feel they have no other choice but to take their own life. Suicide is on the rise yet we only speak, share or request for change when somebody loses their battle and when weeks have past we forget again the struggles and the pain of mental health issues.
Although I understand Ian is just a character I am literally broken from the pain he has suffered alone and the impact his poor mental health had on the people around him. This hit me because I realise how difficult it is and the fact many people feel suicide is a selfish act to do when in reality its the last options and many people who even think about suicide feel they have no other choice to escape they pain they have endured every day. It’s breaks me every time I see another article of someone taking their own life and unfortunately it’s getting worse and I’m not prepared for the heartbreak that follows.
If mental health didn’t hold such a stigma and you could walk in to support like you go to hospital for a broken leg, if only.