I have just read this great post by Alyson’s Blog about the Time to Change campaign, that is trying to get people talking about mental health and stop the stigma that goes with it. I signed a pledge on the Time to Change site some time ago and have linked up to it on Facebook and Twitter but never thought about spreading the word through my blog.
So inspired by Alyson I am going to urge everyone to sign the pledge to stop the stigma and start talking about mental health.
It’s all too easy to turn the other way or avoid ‘that’ conversation with someone you think or know has a mental health problem, but its time that changed. I am guilty of what I am now trying to change, I didn’t understand mental health problems, and fell in line with the other ‘sheep’, complaining when people were off work for ‘depression / stress’ that people ‘should just get on with it!’ I used to worked in community health as an administrator, so was surrounded by discussions of clients suffering from PND and depression, but I supposed even though I tried to empathise I never really understood how debilitating and lonely it can be. Even when a family member suffered with depression I still didn’t get it, just thought they were being a bit lazy and not trying hard enough.
That all changed in September 2010 (last year) when I finally admitted that I had PND, I struggled with the diagnosis, struggled to believe that it was an illness. I won’t bore you with all the details as you can read that in my ‘Story’ (once I manage to complete it!) but suffice to say it took sometime for me to accept that I was ill. It also took me some time to talk to people about it, to not feel afraid of people’s reactions, to realise that if people reacted badly, that said something about them and their attitude about mental health and not a reflection of me. (so far I have been lucky as no one has reacted badly to what I have said).
So now I want to talk about mental health, I want to change the way people react, I want to educate people and get people to talk about it and not be afraid. So please, if you agree with what Time to Change is all about please make a pledge to speak about mental health.