World Mental Health Day
10. 10. 2018
As it is ‘World Mental Health Day’ I thought I would share my experience and thoughts as I feel it is important to open up the conversation on mental illness in an attempt to end the stigma and together make a change for the better!
With my first child, I suffered with long term post natal depression. I was terrified they would take my baby away and by speaking out, I’d only be adding fuel to the fire of the teenage mother stereotype. A little older, and dare I say wiser, I now realise that just wasn’t the case. People are there to help, in whatever way they can. I have come to learn that mental illness is not something to shove to the bottom of the pile and hope it goes away if ignored. It also isn’t something to be ashamed about. I am incredibly lucky to have such a strong, supportive and loving network around me that have helped me through my lowest and toughest times, and celebrated with me in my greatest.
But I’m aware that not everyone has this or feels comfortable sharing with close family or friends. It can be daunting speaking to loved ones, so perhaps speaking confidentially with a stranger/health professional could be the first step. There are so many other ways to reach out and receive support, you just need to know how. I have created a small list of websites and helplines at the bottom of this blog post for those that might need it.
There is so much pressure to be perfect and that just isn’t reality. Social media can be powerfully detrimental to one’s mental health as we constantly compare ourselves to others. What we sometimes need to do is take a step back and realise it’s not always real. No one shares photos of their bad days, but that’s not to say they don’t happen. However, the use of social media on days like today can be powerful for a good cause. Using our social platforms to bring important issues to light and share our own experiences in the hope that it helps someone else, even if it is just one person. The more people that talk about it, the more common it is to be heard, and hopefully the easier it then is for people to seek help.
Let’s spread awareness today for World Mental Health Day, but continue to do so in the days, weeks and months that follow.
Where to seek help:
- Contact your GP for advice and support
- Visit http://www.mind.org.uk for information and support
- Call the Samaritans on 116 123 for free, 24hr, confidential emotional support
Thank you for reading.