Ending discrimination against those with mental health is something I have always been passionate about since studying my degree in psychology. Mental health has become a taboo subject in today’s society, something that people are afraid to talk about or have little understanding of. But, why? Mental health illness affect around 1 in 4 people in the UK that means that each ones of us knows someone in our lives whose dealing with a mental health problem.
So, why aren’t we talking about it? Mental health just like our physical health is something that affects our everyday lives. Today, is World Mental Health Day 2016 and I have been reminded just how many people are out there, feeling isolated and ashamed about what they’re going through and that’s not fair.
So, it’s our job and that’s everyone including you to spread the word and get talking about mental health. The more we talk about mental health in a positive way the less scary it seems. Equally, we need to think about exactly how we are talking about mental health. Are we talking about it positively? Are we being derogatory? How many times have each of us said “I’m a little bit OCD” and have we considered how that might make someone dealing with the condition feel?
The way you act around others makes a difference! You never know what the person standing in front of you is dealing with behind closed doors. It’s far too easy for us to become frustrated and lash out because we don’t know all the facts. Doing that can make a huge impact on life of someone dealing with mental health. So, think about how you act. Ask that person if they’re okay and let the people around you know they can open up if they need to. It seems small but a little kindness and understanding can really make all the difference.
Lastly, we need to get educated! I urge you to do your research. If someone you know is dealing with mental illness or it’s a topic you’ve heard talked about, research it before you speak. Or ask questions. People with mental illness are being made to feel ashamed by people who lack the knowledge of what they’re dealing with. ‘Knowledge is power’ and with it we’ll be able to help those around us.
Let’s spread the word. The ‘Time to change’ charity is working tirelessly to end mental health discrimination and #worldmentalhealthday is just one of the ways they’re raising awareness. So, get on twitter, facebook, instagram you name it and share the hashtag. Make people aware.The more of us involved the bigger impact it will have.
If you want to go one step further sign the pledge on http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/. Put your name on pledge to say that you are standing up to mental health discrimination. I’ve signed it, will you?
A big thank you to ‘Time to change’ for educating me further.
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