Thursday, 10 October 2013

World Mental Health Day

Today (10th October) is World Mental Health Day and so I felt I should contribute something through this blog. I've not suffered mental health issues - not yet anyway, I'm not conceited enough to think I never will. After all just look at these statistics:

  • 1 in 4 British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year, and 1 in 6 experiences this at any given time.
    (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001)
  • It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem.  (World Health Organisation, 2001)

Even those of us who don't suffer ourselves with a mental health problem are likely to know somebody who does. Up until August 2012 I didn't know just how affected I was going to be, until that one phone call to say my brother had killed himself changed everything. It can happen just like that; one moment it's an ordinary day and the next the tsunami wave after a loved one's suicide engulfs you. My post today won't do much, it's not going to result in a miraculous cure for somebody affected by a mental illness, The Sun isn't going to suddenly develop a conscience just because I'm typing this. What I can do though is add my small voice to that of others, so that together we can help reduce the stigma of mental health issues. I have read several blogs today from people directly affected; this is me saying I may not truly be able to understand what you're going through or have been through but I am here with you, I will not judge you or tell you to pull yourself together, if you want to talk I'll listen.

I have added a pledge to the Time to Change Pledge Wall, perhaps you would like to as well and help end mental health discrimination.