#WRITERSBLOCK Let’s talk about Mental Health


Yesterday, (10th October) was World Mental Health Day, it is the same day every year. It was also my birthday and I feel strongly about talking on this subject, and helping tackle the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly how taboo it is to talk about, especially among men.

Strangely, it feels appropriate for me to have World Mental Health Day fall on my birthday, as I have suffered for many years with my own mental health and my mum also has Bipolar and has been sectioned for it. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 16, and was medicated for both. Although much healthier and happier now, I still feel it hugely important to talk about, more so now then I did then.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and this year marked the 25th year of dedicating a day to raise awareness for mental health issues and fighting the stigmas surrounding it.

There has always been such shame and embarrassment attached to talking about how you feel, particularly in men, and it is important we fight every day to make progress to overcome these stigmas.

As you will see with the photo below, 75% of suicides last year were MALE. I truly believe a huge part of this is because men are not conditioned to speak about their feelings, and this has got to change. Expressions like ‘Man Up’ do not help, I stopped using that expression about two years when I realised how detrimental it is to say to someone to ‘Man Up’. What does that mean? That to be a man you have to be this strong, unbreakable pillar of strength that can’t feel any emotion? No, that isn’t fair. Stop telling young men, our partners, our brothers, our friends, our dads, to ‘man up’ and start telling them to open up.

There is no wise words or advice that will stop a life time of suffering with mental health illnesses, nobody will cure you, or be able to fix you but to know you have support and love is hugely important is helping yourself feel better and getting into a more positive head space in your life. Please do not suffer alone, PLEASE be kind to others as you NEVER know what battles people are fighting and make sure to get help, and even if you feel alone, you aren’t.  Mental Health is REAL and we need to talk about it. We can only change these terrifying statistics and suicide rates if WE change our outlooks on mental health.Let’s not be afraid to talk about it, it’s not a weakness, it shows extreme strength and bravery to discuss these topics and our own experiences with them.

I have put two links below to the ‘Mind’ website, a great organisation supporting Mental Health, and also the ‘Samaritans’ website, which has a FREE number to call ‘116 123’ if you need to talk to somebody.