Today, I thought I would post about something a little different. But, it’s a topic that I feel passionately about and something that is so important and relevant in our society. Mental health is an issue that tends to be either brushed under the carpet (be that through fear of causing offence or general ignorance) or demonised in today’s media. I’ve recently signed a petition fighting to get mental health education taught throughout the primary and secondary education system. One in four people are at risk of experiencing a mental health related illness at some point in their lives. However if you are not directly affected, you will definitely come into contact with an individual, or several, who are suffering (be it friends, family members or colleagues). This is why I think it is so important to receive an education regarding the topic of mental health from such a young age as even if you are not experiencing it yourself, you need to be aware of how to respectfully and sensitively support those struggling around you.
Although I haven’t personally experienced any mental health issues up to this point in my life, a few of my friends have suffered and still suffer. It honestly breaks my heart to see people I adore so much going through such a struggle and not being able to do anything to help them. I think it is so crucial that people understand the ways in which we can support loved ones who are battling poor mental health as simply making it known that you are there for someone can make such a difference.
As much as it is possible for people to successfully overcome mental illnesses, sadly this is not always the outcome. In 2013, 6,233 suicides were recorded in the UK for people aged 15 and over. I think this shocking statistic really puts the severity of mental health awareness into perspective. By raising awareness, we can only hope to prevent this statistic from increasing in the future. I urge you to read up on this topic as it something I feel so strongly about. Research the charities, support your friends and help fight the unfair and completely distorted stigma of mental health.
This post is dedicated to all of my amazing friends battling with their mental health every day. I admire you so much.