Today is World Mental Health Day,
3.5 years ago, I would have thought nothing of today, it didn’t apply to me and it didn’t affect me. I was sympathetic to those that had a mental illness, but I don’t think I put depression and anxiety in with the title ‘mental health illness’ anyway. Now though I know more, much more, more than I really want to know, through my own experience, from reading blogs, talking to other people and from on-line conversations. I know now how debilitating having a mental illness can be, I also know that there are many many people who can function and get on with their lives even though they live with a mental illness.
I am still struggling with my own mental illness, but find talking to other suffers helps lessen the pain that I sometimes feel, I have found solace in places like Elefriends, an on-line community for mental health sufferers (and their carers). It is a safe haven to talk openly about how you feel, to get support when you need it and to also give support when you feel able.
I have also often used the Mind website to get information about how I am / was feeling to help understand what was going on in my head, and to help me realise I wasn’t unique in how I felt. I’ve liked them on Facebook too, so I get notifications of things happening and any blogs that have been posted.
I have also made a pledge with Time to Change, I can’t remember what I pledged, but I did and I sent it onto my family and friends, they are a brilliant organisation trying to change people’s attitudes to mental health. I have also liked them on Facebook, so I get to know when blogs have been written and when things are happening.
I hope that by having a World Mental Health day, more people will find out about the various mental health illnesses there are, and think twice before condemning the person down the road that ‘isn’t quite right’, and find out what is wrong and support them in anyway they can. I know that since I have suffered with depression and anxiety I have become more aware of people’s feelings and struggles and taken a couple of minutes to think before I judged someone, where before I might have been too judgemental.
What does World Mental Health day mean to you?