Mental health problems are actually more common than you think, with one in four people being affected by mental illness every year. That’s why Mental Health Awareness Week has come about. It helps people to know that they’re not alone, it can strengthen relationships between friends, family and colleagues, and it starts to take the taboo out of something that affects us all.
With university exams going ahead, dreadful weather, minimal daylight, a recession with fewer opportunities and the Christmas blues, it is a testing time of the year for anyone; but spare a thought for the person who is feeling that strain more than others. By checking on an old friend, sending a text or a short phone call you can be doing enough to make someone’s day.
‘Time to Change’ England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma programme, run by the charities ‘Mind’ and ‘Rethink Mental Illness’, aims to get more people talking about mental health than ever before. Thursday 6 February 2014 will be noted as the first ‘Time to Talk’ day with the surrounding week raising awareness for the campaign.
Mental Health is a topic very close to me with those close to me suffering from it. It is an illness and not a weakness and one that can be resolved with some good old fashioned TLC. At the end of the day, everything will be ok because in my opinion everything happens for a reason. I know that is a cliche but it is something that has really helped me in the past, when I have felt the pressures of life. All I would suggest and encourage you to do, from the bottom of my heart to speak out. Talk to someone. You may not need to express the extent of your concern or go into intimate detail, but by talking, I personally began to realise that I wasn’t the only person suffering from negative thoughts. I wasn’t alone and sweeping problems, however minor under the carpet can cause great psychological damage.
With that in mind, this weekend, I intend to catch up with as many friends as possible and take comfort in knowing that I am there for them and they are there for me.