Mental Health Awareness Week
The discussion surrounding mental health issues has become a fixed, dedicated week on our calendars and this year we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week from May 14th - 20th.
Imagine for a second, falling over and cutting your knee. You would most likely be left with a huge cut and bruises from the impact of your fall and people around you would offer to help you stand, clean you off and cover the wound. But what if you imagine feeling so anxious you find yourself stuck indoors with no way of seeing past that front door. Imagine being so paralysed by crippling depression that you find yourself lacking purpose with no motivation to get out of bed.
The stigma surrounding mental health is primarily centred around the lack of physical evidence which prevents others from empathising with the issue. When we think about pain and about poor health, who would want to go into work? If you had a broken leg or a stomach bug no one would want to leave the comfort of their home until they felt well again. Just because we cannot see the impact of illness does not mean it is not there.
Being honest and open about having a 'down day' can take the sting out of any bad situation. Tell your boss, your colleagues even your partner that today you are struggling and may be quieter than normal. They may help you work things through, chat about good things or even just allow you to process and deal with your own thoughts. The more wholehearted and honest we are the easier it becomes.
This week is dedicated to being open about mental health, about helping those who have difficult days and about promoting healthy discussion about what goes on in our brains. It's easy to isolate yourself short term, but we want you to spend some getting out there, meeting with like-minded people and being honest and whole hearted about what it means to suffer from a mental health condition.
The more we discuss, the more open and most importantly, the more understanding we become.