Today, Wednesday the 16th of May, marks the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 (14th-20th May). Truth be told I didn’t notice that this important week had already begun, nor did I have it catalogued in my brain during the lead-up to this informative week: I don’t feel guilty about my ignorance to this. For as long as I have known of Mental Health Awareness Week (-MHAW) I have been conscious of it because my mind was in a bad place and therefore I could relate to all matters concerned with the week in that present moment. This year round I feel ”better” in myself that I did over the course of previous MHAW – Surely I shouldn’t feel regrettable about my happiness, right?
I use the word ‘better’ loosely because I feel that it is important to stress than the majority of Mental health issues/illness aren’t something that totally disappears with time and/or the appropriate form of management for an individual. In the past, including today, I have seen some people state that they ”no longer have” the mental health illness they had been diagnosed with. By no means am I an expert, and perhaps in some cases there are a select few mental health illnesses that can be fully treated, but I want to make it absolutely clear that it is fine to not be fine and even if a mental health illness may not be curable it doesn’t mean your future is entirely all doom and gloom. If you take anything from MHAW, remember that myself as well as plenty of others are living proof that there is such thing as making progress and coping well enough despite not making a full recovery.
In the past on my blog I have touched on the subject of Mental Health, detailing my experiences in the process of realising that I have depression and discussing the measures to cope with depression, OCD and anxiety. I will not sit here and claim that I’m an expert for providing advice; especially because I didn’t even realise I had said issues until a few years ago. Although what I will say is I encourage everyone to promote MHAW in whichever way you can, regardless of having a mental health illness or not, as it only takes one person to link the chain that one day could break the stigmas around mental health.
If you would like to construct a post for Mental Health Week, please don’t feel like you have to write elaborately or give a unique approach to the matter; infact repetition of ideas and guidance will get our messages across more easily. Here are a few subjects you can touch on:
- Recount your experience of taking antidepressants or other medication for a mental health illness,
- Write about your methods of dealing with stress, anxiety etc,
- Share the contact information of mental health charities and services,
- Discuss hobbies that you or someone close to you has adopted to use as coping mechanisms,
- Write about your progress journey; plus a comparison of then and now,
- List of books that are fitting for relaxation,
- What can mental health organisations provide?
Remember. A positive mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time, nor does it mean constantly feeling low – it’s a balance of the two.
Links/contact information of Mental health services in the UK:
- Centre for Mental Health
- Together for Mental wellbeing (Switchboard LGBT+)
- Depression Alliance
- Night line Association (run by students for students)
- Anxiety UK – Text service 07537 416 905
- Rethink Mental Health Illness
- Beat (concerns Eating disorders)
Services that apply to outside of the UK:
- Depression & Bipolar support alliance (International – available en español)
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America
- International OCD Foundation
- Recovery International