This post is not going to be very long, however I wanted to post something. On World Book Day and around the time of Shakespeare’s death anniversary, I failed to post what I wished to, due to revision, and I regretted that, so I know if I don’t share something for another thing that’s important to me.
Mental Health Awareness week.
This week is Mental Health Awareness week. This week is important, because despite the amount of awareness many people try to raise, we still don’t seem to gone forward.
Here are a few reminders for everyone:
- Mental health is just as important as physical health. Just as important. Do not dismiss your mental health because you don’t see the way you feel as significantly as you would view a visible injury. It is extremely significant. Please do not dismiss the mental health of yourself, or other people.
- If someone confides in you, whether you can ‘help’ or not, you are helping by listening. Please, as highlighted before, don’t dismiss it. It will have been a big step for said person to reach out, and the worst thing that someone could do is say ‘I’m sure it’s only…’. Help in whatever way you can, whether that’s continuing being there, being a trusted companion, or helping them seek professional help.
- A person is no less the person they are before you knew they had a mental illness. Their value does not decrease, do not patronise them. Help them all you can, I encourage that, but do not treat them as lesser than you did before.
- Don’t make comments without thinking! People may be going through a tough time, and just because they smile and laugh all the time doesn’t mean they’re happy! Don’t make a flippant, ignorant comment that may cause hurt (and whether or not they are struggling, if it hurts someone, you shouldn’t make it anyway).
- You are not alone in this world. You are are so full of worth, and you are not alone. Stay strong ❤️
If you do know someone who is struggling, do all you can for them, and look after yourself, too. Both of those things are very important.
Did you know that 1/4 people will suffer from a mental health issue in their lifetime? That’s around 100 people in my sixth form, alone. They could be suffering from any or multiple mental illnesses (as listed here courtesy of the charity ‘Mind’).
The mind website has many other useful features; Help guides for sufferers, relatives/friends, and for allies; Statistics. It may be useful to have a look at.
What can you do?
An important thing you can do for someone who is struggling is make sure you’re aware of how they’re feeling, or at least try to check on how they are; Even if they don’t have a mental health issue, or that you’re aware of, they will most certainly appreciate knowing someone cares! And remember that you always help, even if you don’t mean to. Your exsistence is so important, so don’t feel hopeless if you feel you’re not helping, because just being a friend (even if you’re not aware of it) is the most important thing that you can do, whether you’re in physical company of the person or not.
Another way in which you can help is by supporting Mental Health charities. Especially due to governmental cuts to mental health and their evident lack of focus on this issue, these services are vital. One way I’ve done this is by nominating ‘Mind’ as one of my form’s charities; We raised £70 through an Easter egg sale, not long ago!
Stop the stigma
We cause the stigma. It is us who, ourselves, paint Mental Health issues in a light which makes people feel ashamed. And no, I do not mean it’s the people with the mental health issues who cause the stigma, it’s our society. This needs to be solved. You should not feel ashamed of your mental illness. Embrace it, try not to let it own you more than you own yourself.
Camilla Arfwedson and Dr Zosia March’s Mental Health storyline(s).
The emphasis portrayed by Camilla Arfwedson (as Zosia March, in Holby City) that, despite the debilitating illness they may endure, people who suffer from mental health issues are PEOPLE, and people who are competent and capable, is so, so important. There are so many people, out in the vast world, who struggle but would never let on, so you’d assume to be ‘okay’, and treat them like any other. The portrayal of a character such as Zosia highlights that people should follow the path they want and pursue to be the star that they are, mental illness or not, as they are no less capable than others, but that support should and needs to be there for a person when it’s necessary. People should NOT have to face discrimination due to their mental health issue- the stigma must be stopped.
Camilla is incredible, and I’m so, so proud to call myself a fan of her. Thank you for being an inspiration, and for helping to raise awareness.
Do your part to raise awareness. Whether it’s through a simple, short post like this, or whether it’s something more personal (it is very important that those who are confident enough to do so share their story!), raising awareness is something we need to do more. I hope this has some impact on you.
I’m planning to post more about Mental Health in the future, including possibly something with more statistics.
Love always, Lauren xxx