Mental Illness- Mental Health Awareness Week.

It’s 2019 and there is still a massive stigma surrounding the topic. We are too afraid to open up about how we are feeling mentally. I understand that if you aren’t aware of what Mental Illness is or signs and symptoms to look out for whether that be in yourself or maybe a friend, colleague or family member, you may think that feeling the way you’re feeling is normal, and everyone feels it, the truth is there isn’t enough education behind Mental Illness. We aren’t teaching our colleagues, children etc the most simple facts about different Mental Health Issues. Just having the conversation with a colleague, checking in on them. Majority of people who are suffering with a Mental Illness are facing it alone, but that shouldn’t be the case. I get that everyone feels sad, nervous or just generally not themselves but when these symptoms are affecting your every day chores and activities, this is when you need to take a step back and reflect on how these thoughts are affecting you.

The first step towards recovery is talking to someone about the way you’re feeling. You may feel like you are on your own, and no one is willing to listen. You’ll be surprised at the amount of people that will offer you their time to listen to your problem. Whether it’s a family member, a colleague at work or if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, there are many charity helplines that are designed to help you, like http://samaritans.org you can email or call their helpline 116 123 they have volunteers who work around the clock, 24/7 to chat or to write to. I’ve used the service before, it’s incredible that someone who doesn’t know you can help you so much, it’s a confidential service (unless in certain situations where their safeguarding policy comes in, refer to website for more info linked above), out of best interest of yourself or someone in need. There are many other helplines and charities which I will list at the end. Once you get over the first hurdle you will find it easier, I promise.

I’ve been in the exact same position, you feel lost, lonely, you feel like it’s just you against the demons in your head. You’re not alone. You may feel like you’re drowning. There is a way out, just speak to someone, start the conversation. Admitting you need help is a sign of strength not weakness.

Please make sure your friends and loved ones are ok, if you haven’t heard from them in a while, just message them or talk to them face to face to check if they’re feeling ok. If you make plans and they keep canceling just double check they aren’t isolating themselves, just to say you’re there for them can help them out, it may not be their fault, so don’t get mad if they let you down there could be something else going on. Don’t force them to open up, they may be afraid that they’re putting themselves in a vulnerable position, when in actual fact they are far from it. Once again It’s Okay Not to Be Okay.

Helpful Links:

http://www.samaritans.orghttp://www.anxietyuk.org.ukhttp://www.bipolaruk.org.ukhttp://www.thecalmzone.nethttp://www.menshealthforum.org.ukhttp://www.mentalhealth.org.ukhttp://www.mind.org.ukhttp://www.nopanic.org.ukhttp://www.ocdaction.org.uk (all links were found on NHS Mental Health Helplines for more info)

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