If you’re not of school/university age or if you don’t spend your whole life on the internet then maybe you don’t know that it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Apologies in advance if this post gets a little bit (a lot!) ranty but really I just want to take the chance to hammer home just how important Mental Health Awareness Week for the people who aren’t aware.
So here are just a few of the reasons why we need Mental Health Awareness Week:
Because everyone has mental health.
Because the 1 in 4 statistic is actually more like 1 in 3.
Because mental health doesn’t discriminate.
Because bipolar, schizo and borderline aren’t adjectives.
Because OCD isn’t cleaning your house 50 times a day.
Because depression doesn’t always look like not being able to get out of bed.
Because eating disorders are so much more than wanting to be thin.
Because you can’t tell that someone is mentally ill just by looking at them.
Because people with Borderline Personality Disorder are 50 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
Because self harm isn’t about attention seeking.
Because mental illness doesn’t make you weak.
Because it’s okay to take a day off for a headache but not for a panic attack.
Because exercising and eating right, while excellent, won’t cure someone’s depression.
Because dementia isn’t just forgetting whether you locked the door.
Because medication isn’t the devil.
Because waiting lists are getting longer.
Because treatment isn’t being funded.
Because people suffering still feel so alone.
Because I’m sick of hearing ‘Everyone has anxiety these days.’
Because there aren’t enough mental health bloggers.
Because psychiatric wards don’t look like Girl, Interrupted or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Because psychosis is far scarier for the person dealing with it than you having to hear about it.
Because people with mental health issues are more likely to die prematurely than the general public.
Because stigma is rife. It’s everywhere. It’s getting better. But we’re far from done.
I won’t stop talking about mental health, and I hope you won’t either.