The 10th October marks World Mental Health day, marking a week of raising awareness of an issue that affects 1 in 4 people and as indiscriminate in whom it can affect as any biological condition.
Events will be taking place up and down the country in schools, universities and in community centres to help raise awareness of mental health issues to those looking to understand more and to those in need of support but yet to engage.
However, all of this got us thinking about what we could do as individuals to support World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week and we kept coming back to the same thing.
Most things in life, when we’re doing them for the first time take just a little bit of bravery.
Our first steps (although we don’t know it at the time), our first day of school, our first kiss, our first job.
The first time we say out loud that we’re not coping so well and need help.
Bravery defines our history from the earliest explorers to the men that fired the first shot, to the men who refused to fire at all and thus prevented a war.
Bravery is what tells us ‘yes I can’ when the rest of our body is screaming ‘no I can’t’.
Bravery is finding the help needed to take on thoughts and feelings that scare us.
Bravery is something we’re all very good at if we’d only stop for long enough to realise it and give ourselves credit.
So this is how you can be brave during Mental Health Awareness Week:
Be Brave Enough to Say I Don’t Know
If you haven’t experienced mental health issues it can be really difficult to understand or relate to those that do experience them.
The idea that someone could feel so low that they can’t get out of bed is utterly alien to them. For some the solution to depression is man up.
We challenge all those who don’t fully understand the major challenges mental health issues represent to attend an event or visit a charity to learn about what having depression and anxiety really means.
All we ask is that you go there with an open mind.
Be Brave Enough to Say Help
If you’re worried that you have a mental health issue use this week to ask for help. Start with your friends and your family and then refer yourself to the relevant mental health team near you.
Visit our signposting page for services in the Dorset area. Alternatively contact us and we may be able to give your advice.
Our blog also offers some advice on coping with depression including methods and techniques to help you relax.
Be Brave Enough to Say ‘I Have Mental Health Issues’
The biggest barrier to individuals accessing mental health services is the stigma attached to it.
Decades of outmoded thinking, stereotypes and misrepresentation in television and movies persist in demonising those with mental health issues as at best deficient or at worst dangerous.
Although some individual’s issues can manifest themselves violently this tends to happen when support isn’t available.
Honesty and understanding is the key to anyone with mental health issues – regardless of severity – getting the support they need.
This needs to start with a forum in which someone can talk about their experiences without judgement. Only by accepting the realities of mental health and showing compassion to those who experience challenges can things get better.
Plus the more aware we are the sooner we can spot signs that our own mental health may be suffering.
We are dedicated to supporting individuals with enduring mental health issues. If you are concerned about your mental health or that of someone close to you, contact us today and we will do all we can to help.
Alternatively click on the links below to learn more about us.