It’s okay not to be okay.
I feel that this topic is very fitting for today, as it is World Suicide Prevention Day. I find it crazy how it is the 21st Century and there is still a huge stigma surrounding Mental Health. Mental illness can affect anybody, and the most unfortunate thing is that the majority of those who suffer, sadly stay silent. They feel like they can’t talk about how they are feeling, because you’re quick to think that that friend you haven’t seen in months is “unsociable” because they always cancel plans last minute with what you think is a “stupid excuse”, but you never think to double check whether they’re okay, or just say “that’s ok, I’m here if there is anything you want to talk about, let me know when you’re ready” instead you say “you never come out” or “stop being so boring, why do I bother”. I’m not saying that every friend who cancels plans last minute suffers from a mental health condition, I’m just saying if there is a pattern that seems to occur there may be something more than “being busy”.
It’s so important to start the conversation, to open that door to offer them your time. Whether it be via phone, in person or text. Sometimes just saying “I’m here for you whenever” means so much to them because you are someone they love, it gives them the opportunity to talk about how they are feeling. If your friend Susan has been a little quiet recently or acting differently start the conversation, it’s okay not to be okay.
At least 1 in 4 people will experience some sort of Mental Illness at some point in their life, whether that be OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Bipolar, Anxiety or Depression.
Suicide is the biggest killer in men under the age of 45. At least 84 men every week take their own lives to suicide every week, thats over 4,000 men every year! This figure needs to change!
Young women between the ages of 16 to 24 are almost three times more likely (26%) to experience a common mental health problem as their Male contemporaries (9%) and have higher rates of self harm, bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I think that as a whole we can all do something to help break the stigma surrounding mental illness. Whether that be speaking out about our own experiences or being there to help support your family and friends who may need that extra bit of your time as they may need someone to talk to.
For those who are struggling, please don’t suffer in silence. It’s important to speak to someone whether you speak to a friend, family member or healthcare professional, or there are loads of charities out there to offer help and support 24/7.
Please remember, it’s okay not to be okay you’re not ALONE.
Take care of yourself, its ok to be selfish sometimes x
- Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774 (Mon- Fri 9:30-5:30pm)
- Bipolar UK – http://www.bipolaruk.org.uk
- CALM(Campaign Against Living Miserably, Men 15-35yrs) http://www.thecalmzone.net
- Depression Alliance – http://www.depressionalliance.org
- Mens Health Forum – http://www.menshealthforum.org.uk
- Mental Health Foundation – http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk
- Mind – 0300 123 3393 (Mon – Fri 9am-5pm) http://www.mind.org.uk
- Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org.uk (24hours) 116 123
(all info listed above, from NHS Mental Health Helplines)