World Mental Health Day 2014
Today, October 10th 2014, is World Mental Health Day. This is an annual event to raise awareness, promote effective treatments, and reduce the stigma of talking about the conditions associated with mental health.
I have worked within the field my whole career, so this is a cause particularly close to me. Every year, 1 in 4 of us In the UK will experience a mental health problem of some description. When you stop to think about it, that is a dizzying statistic. The consequences of mental health conditions can be severe and debilitating, or even worse, and the knock on effect on networks, employers, families and loved ones are often crippling.
There is still huge stigma surrounding mental health conditions. There is often poor awareness of the issues, and poor understanding of the symptoms, causes and treatments. Many still see mental health problems as a weakness. Often it is those effected who feel this way. It is hugely common for people to suffer in silence, which, paradoxically, can often worsen the issues rather than make them go away.
If there is one piece of advice I would offer anyone, it is to talk. Open up to someone, anyone. Preferably this should be someone you know, love and trust, but if need be, seek professional support, and do this sooner rather than later. There are many people, available now, who are experienced, know what to do, and will be able to offer direct advice or support, either to you or to someone you know.
The following are excellent websites:
Mind – www.mind.org.uk
The Samaritans – www.samaritans.org
NHS Choices - www.nhs.uk/Livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Mentalhealthhome.aspx
The Samaritans number in the UK is 08457 90 90 90.
Yours in psychology,