Mental Health Awareness Week: It's OK not to be OK.

I'll start by giving you a warning: This isn't one of my usual posts.  There are no food pictures, recipes or reviews. It may not appeal to those that usually frequent my blog, but I request that you please read it until the end. 

As I write this post, we're half way through Mental Health Awareness Week– a national campaign designed to help shed the stigma around the topic. 

Only a small minority of people (13%) report living with high levels of good mental health.
More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression.
Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.

Even though so many people are affected, there is a strong social stigma attached to mental ill health, and people with mental health problems can experience discrimination in all aspects of their lives. 

I have personal experience with mental health issues, as a teenagaer and in adult life.  If I'm being honest with myself, I feel slightly uncomfortable writing that sentence, in public, and for anyone that looks at this page to see. But that's also partly why I wanted to write this post. I'm certainly not a celebrity, and I'm certainly not someone to look up to, but I do have this blog platform (that a surprising amount of people read!)

On some of the few occasions I have spoken to people about my experiences with mental health in the past, I've been told things such as,"But you're so bubbly and outgoing, how can you be feeling depressed?" Or even worse, "Why don't you just cheer yourself up and get on with it?" 

The truth is, it isn't as easy as 'snapping out of it'. Mental health issues are a real life thing that can take over your body and control you, and it feels like every bit of happiness has been removed from your body and will never return.

Most people who experience mental health problems recover fully, or are able to live with and manage them. But for people to get the support and help that they need, there needs to be an end of portraying mental ill health in a negative light.

It's OK to not be OK. Something that has taken me a long time to realise, and something I wish that I could make everyone see. There is support out there, and it is OK to ask for it.  You don't need to feel this way forever.

When I started writing this post I wanted to make sure that there was a purpose. I found some great resources that I wanted to share.

Ever thought about your own mental health?  Find out how you're doing compared to the national average, by taking this survey from Mental Health Awareness.

Check out this head space app. Learn to meditate in just 10 minutes a day with the Headspace app. Daily meditation has been shown to help people stress less, exercise more and even sleep better.

Did you know that it is possible to connect with a fully qualified therapist online? Having someone to talk to can help you make positive changes in your life. Therapy is more than just talking about feelings, and can really help you to reach your goals. Doing this in an online format can also make the process a lot easier, and the thought of speaking to someone less scary. Learn more about ThriveTalk for online therapy.

If you need support or need to speak to someone, there is a huge amount of support numbers here.

You May Also Like