I’ve been thinking about mental health a lot this week. Particularly apt due to it being mental health awareness week.
Everywhere I’ve turned there have been reminders about looking after our mental health. Social media has been full of interesting quotes and articles, and celebrities as well as us ‘normal’ folk have been talking about our own mental health.
I had an interesting conversation with someone yesterday who said they feel as though everyone has mental health problems these days, and that sometimes it feels as though people are just ‘jumping on the bandwagon’.
Whilst I’m not sure people are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’, it certainly does feel as though more people have mental health problems these days. However, I’m not sure that this is true either.
What seems to be true, is that more people are opening up and talking about mental health.
Radio 1 have done a great job at allowing people to open up and talk about their mental health, frequently talking about different ways to cope, and just allowing people to air their problems.
Celebrities too have been opening up about their mental health experiences, which somehow makes it easier to discuss things. By opening up and telling us their stories, they are letting everyone know that it is ok to not be ok.
Workplaces too are taking a tougher stance on mental health, ensuring staff know what to do if they are experiencing problems, or by simply making staff more aware of the signs that one of their colleagues maybe struggling so they can help, or find someone who can.
I too created The Mindful Musings of a Gingernut as a way of managing my own mental health. I often struggle to put things into words when speaking out loud, but writing my blog helps me to have a voice, and to say the things I often wish I could say in person. It also helps me to reflect and to make sense of things.
Yet, I can’t help but feel a sense of bittersweetness when we talk about mental health.
In a couple of months time it will be the anniversary of my best friends suicide.
I often wonder, if there had been more publicity about mental health back then, if there had been easier access to information, support groups etc, whether she may still be here.
We’ll never know.
What I am grateful for, is the fact that times are changing.
Mental health has a growing voice.
Mental health is finally being listened to.
Amen to that!