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Mental health removing the stigma

Friday 6th July 2018

As many of us will have seen and heard in the news, suicide and mental health problems seems so apparent right now, even making an appearance in the soaps.  For years mental health has been a rather taboo subject, with people feeling like they are unable to talk about their issues for fear of being treated differently, looked down upon or even bullied.

An astonishing 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. Unfortunately, not everyone feels they can talk about their issues, as only 1 in 6 seek the help they need.  Mental health can come in many different forms, like anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), eating disorders to name just a few.

The funny thing is that mental illness won’t discriminate against you.  Mental illness doesn’t care if you are male, female young or old and can strike at any given moment.  Many people think that they can’t possibly be suffering from a mental health issue because nothing stressful is happening in their lives at that time, but many things can upset the balance of a person’s mind.  To put that into perspective there are over 65 million people living in the UK.  That means in the UK alone there are 16,250,000 people suffering with mental health problems, possibly more that have gone undiagnosed.

Alexander McQueen, Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, and the most recently the “beautiful,” “smiley” and seemingly happy, Sophie Gradon, are names in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons.  Suffering, in a lonely battle behind closed doors that led to them taking their own lives.  These examples just show that no one really knows what is going on in the minds of others.

There are many ways to get help in the UK.   The NHS has a web page dedicated to helping people having suicidal thoughts www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide.

Behind The Mask Mental Health Foundation is a fantastic local charity, that offers free online counselling and peer support service for all those struggling with their mental health.  www.facebook.com/BTMC15/

Please don’t suffer in silence.  Even if you think that your problems aren’t big enough to matter, or ever said:

“Nobody wants to listen to me moan.”

“I’m supposed to be strong I can’t have a mental health problem.”

“I don’t want a stranger knowing my business.”

“I can’t afford to get help.” “I don’t know who to talk to.”

It’s good to talk.

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