As you may already be aware, today (14th of May 2018) signifies the start of the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week! It’s an annual event and campaign which aims to erase the stigma of mental illnesses, educate people on mental health and just to get people talking about mental health in general. Each year has a theme and this year’s is stress.
I do genuinely believe that the campaigns to raise awareness in the UK are working because although the stigma is still present, far fewer people harbour it. It is more acceptable to talk about mental health than ever before and less people feel the need to hide their mental health problems. We still have a long way to go, but I’ve seen improvements in the public attitude which shows how important it is to keep talking!
It is, however, also important to remember that everyone’s mental health experience is unique and even people with the same diagnoses vary. Lumping people into one box and making assumptions about their feelings and lifestyles because of a diagnosis is pretty ignorant. A medical label does not change a person’s personality or uniqueness, which I think can be forgotten sometimes.
I’ve come a long way myself in understanding mental illness – from being totally ignorant as a teenager to starting to have an understanding of the variety of illnesses, the best way to look after my own mental health and learning how to support my friends and family. It’s a journey that most, if not all, people have to go on and I thought that this week I’d share some posts with you about my mental health experience.
In the meantime, please feel free to link me to posts or articles on mental health that you recommend in the comments! Hope you are all well!