As the heading says, it’s World Mental Health Day!!!! In my opinion, EVERY day should be W.M.H.D.
If we want to break the stigma once and for all, there should be a LOT more campaigns to raise awareness on a much more regular basis. There are some amazing charities out there (Pieta House, Samaritans, Cycle Against Suicide etc.) who put so much time and effort into campaigning & regularly helping vulnerable people, but when they’re up to their eyes and low on funds, what more can we do?
There are so many charity events running throughout the year – cycles, walks, mini-marathons, full marathons, 10Ks etc. – all prime opportunities for you to contact one of the mental health charities for a sponsor pack. By wearing their t-shirt with pride and raising much needed funds for them, you’re not only a walking/running/hobbling advertisement for the charity but you’re aiding them financially too. It’s so easy for us to take their services for granted, but what we must remember is that without financial contributions they just couldn’t afford to exist.
On a more personal level, we should all try to reach out to those who we suspect might be going through a tough time. They might not be ‘obviously’ depressed, or want to admit it, but just having a chat with them and showing genuine concern might just lead to an admission. Just letting them air their ‘woes’ and confide in you could be all it takes for them to feel a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. Acknowledging their mood is low could be the first steps they need in order to gain the confidence to approach their GP for professional advice. Small, caring gestures have the potential to save lives, or at least improve the quality of lives. Don’t you want to be involved?
I remember the first time I told someone other than immediate family & friends that I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression; I almost whispered it because I was too embarrassed to say it out loud, and even though the lady was lovely, I couldn’t help but think that she was going to judge me. Looking back to that day makes me cringe a little, because I wish I’d stood there and said “you know what, I’ve been diagnosed with Depression and finally it all makes sense. I’m glad I’m getting the proper treatment now.”
I understand entirely that every individual case of Depression is unique. No two people will cope the same, or suffer at the same level – that’s only natural as we all live separate lives. I also understand that some people have had extremely terrible experiences in their lives that have either ‘brought on’ depression, or have triggered it at various stages and some people have it ‘under control’ without medication but require some help every once in a while. There are so many variations that have one common denominator – they have the same illness.
Please, please, reach out today & every day if you can. If there’s someone acting ‘out of character’, ring them or arrange to meet up. A friendly smile & a listening ear (and of course a good strong cuppa) could be just what they need right now.
If you’re one of those people who’s feeling ‘blue’, and doesn’t know who to turn to, just call someone you trust. Tell them as much as you feel comfortable telling them and see how that makes you feel. Letting it all fester inside you isn’t good for your emotional wellbeing and there are people who want to help you. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to family or friends just yet then make an appointment with your GP and he or she will provide you with the care you need.
Remember too, I may be a stranger but I can try my best to help you too. I’m not qualified on paper, but I’ve been dealing with my own struggles for long enough & will try to offer the best advice I can.
Big hugs to anyone who could really do with one today….. xoxoxoxoxoxox