We talk about our physical health. If we have a cold, we get some advice from a pharmacist, if we break a leg we see a doctor, if we get a more serious illness like cancer, we get all the help we can. However, what about if our minds are sick? What if you’ve been struggling to get out of bed in the morning because the thought of the day is too much? What if your mind is telling you you’re ugly? What if you have panic attacks every time you use public transport? Who do you tell then? Sometimes we don’t even tell our closest friends about this.
My question is, why shouldn’t we talk about it? Our minds are just as worthy of being healthy as the rest of our bodies. With this post, I aim to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly talking about our mental health. In school we are told to see the school nurse if we have a headache or sickness. In school you learn about different sorts of illnesses but never about mental illness. Why is that? Why is it frowned upon to talk about what’s going on in our heads?
According to some statistics suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 45. Yes, that’s right. More men under 45 in the UK die due to suicide, not cancer or lung disease. Suicide. Let that sink in. I can’t help but think if we spoke about our mental health more often and more openly, then this statistic would not be so prominent.
I began blogging about my mental health at the end of last year. I am beyond happy that I decided to do this because the support I have received from fellow bloggers has been phenomenal, and key to aiding my recovery. I know not everyone can blog about their mental health, some people find it difficult to talk about it at all, but in my opinion, once you have talked to just one person, it gets so much easier, like a weight has lifted. Talking about my mental health has helped others, it has educated those who didn’t know about my mental illness and it has helped to stop the stigma surrounding mental health. There is still a long way to go, but if every person who reads this can talk about mental health, be it their own, mental health in general or even sharing this post, we would be even closer to helping to banish the stigma surrounding mental health.
To get involved further why not join the #TalkMH chat on Twitter. It’s on a Thursday at 8.30pm (UK time) and the host is the wonderful @hannahrainey_ let’s all get involved and fight the stigma surrounding mental health.