Recently, there have been many highlighted issues in my personal life over how difficult it still is to talk openly about emotional problems that we all face. Hearing stories about the negative experiences different people have had trying to talk about their emotional turmoils, has given me even more encouragement to stand up and speak out about mental health.
I know first hand how terrifying it can be to open up about your negative thoughts to others. In the beginning, knowing that the people around me had very little knowledge about what mental health was really like, or what my illness was really like to live with, made it extremely hard to open up more about what I was feeling. Even talking to some professionals such as teachers and doctors, was a very daunting experience because they didn’t have any understanding or lacked the capacity to respect that what I was feeling was real.
Even now there are times when I really want to be able to talk about how I am feeling, but sense from some people that this is neither the time nor the place to do so, or that they just simply do not want to have to talk about personal feelings.
One in Four of us suffer from mental health problems, yet there is such a taboo around this topic of conversation across many different areas of society. The impact that this is creating on individuals who are suffering from a non-visible illness is increasing the isolation, pain, and fear over talking about their issues with others.
Through the biggest UK survey conducted last year in 2017 revealed some heart-breaking statistics that provide solid evidence for why there really need to create positive changes to the way we think, talk and act on mental health:
Almost 1 in 5 (19%) lost their job
Over half (54%) lost contact with a loved one (friend, family member or partner)
More than 1 in 10 (12%) couldn’t go through with an important life event (e.g. wedding, graduation)
Over half (55%) stopped socialising or going out
How can this carry on when the levels of crisis cases are at an all-time high and the services, support, and awareness out there are far from sufficient to improve all of our mental wellbeings.
It is Time to Change.
Since they began in 2007, they have made such an incredible impact on our attitudes and behaviours towards mental health and as a result, they saw a 9.6% in positive changes between 2008 and 2016. Though there is still a heck of a way to go yet!
This is why they have started up ‘Time To Talk Day’ (February 1st, 2018) to create conversations about mental health all across the UK as well as in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This year they have brought a focus to the fact that there is no right or wrong place to talk about mental health – its time we talk, listen and begin to change lives.
Join in this vital cause to help put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health and strike up a conversation with someone about it! Whether do so in the comfort of your own home, at work, over coffee, on the train or even whilst you are climbing a mountain its Time To Talk!
You can also get involved through social media using the hashtag #TimeToTalkDay and share your thoughts and experiences with the world. You never know how much it could help someone else.
If you are interested in more about mental health advice, here are a few of my own blog posts that I hope you will find useful!
Let’s break the silence by making mental health matter.