A few months ago, on 10th October, World Mental Health Day took place. It seemed fitting to reflect on this, and to publish this article (albeit late) to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.
This event probably drifted straight over most people’s heads, as mental health isn’t something we usually discuss. In fact, it is often considered a touchy subject.
With the seemingly never ending stress of school, combined with personal struggles, and just being human, sometimes just doing everyday tasks, like getting up in the morning, can feel like torture. In fact, mental illnesses are much more common than we think. According to a 2015 study, one in four people in the UK experience mental illness each year and only half of these are currently receiving treatment. If this is such an important issue, then why is it never discussed? Why are so many young people still suffering alone?
In 2015, a staggering 6,188 suicides were recorded in the UK, which is a figure that could be massively reduced if we just talked about mental illness. What’s even more surprising is that 75% of these suicides were male. This is obviously due to the unreasonable and completely outdated idea that men who show any sign emotion are “weak”. If we can begin to abolish this destructive stereotype, then surely we can also begin to decrease the number of people left suffering, unable to share their experience and pain.
Youngminds.com says that three children in every classroom have a mental health problem. Therefore, even if you’ve never suffered from a mental illness yourself, chances are we all know at least one person who has. And although they are surrounded by family and friends, that person suffering might still feel completely alone.
So reach out to them. Start that difficult conversation, because eventually, it might even save a life.
Mental health matters… So let’s talk about it.