Today is world Mental Health Day, and the theme this year is ‘living in dignity’.
As a Mental Health professional I thought it best to mark today with a short piece on Mental Health, stigma and hope.
“One in four adults and one in ten children are likely to have a mental health problem in any given year. This can have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people in the UK, and can affect their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day”. Mental Health Foundation.
Stigma still surrounds Mental Illness, and we must work harder to tackle these out of date and ultimately misinformed attitudes most people seem to hold onto.
So how can we help those with Mental Illness live in dignity?
We all have mental health and by failing to treat people with mental health problems with dignity we make it more difficult to ensure that everyone takes steps to safeguard their wellbeing and to seek help, as it can lead to self-stigma, low confidence, low self-esteem, withdrawal and social isolation.
Educate yourselves. Knowing some facts about mental illness can mean a lot to people who need understanding at this difficult time in there like, you can get some facts here.
Prevention is better than cure.
Simple things like keeping active, eating well, sharing your problems with someone you trust are all things that you can do as an individual everyday to help.
If you feel the scales starting to tip and finding it hard to cope, please seek help, talk to a friend or your GP. I will include some help lines and websites at the end of this post.
Situations were you feel there are no ways out i.e debt, poverty, physical health issues, abuse there is ALWAYS someone to help, so do not feel you have no other alternative. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes on your situation can work wonders.
There is hope.
No matter how awful you feel today, it will get better. There is another way out if you let people in.
For those who are having problems at the moment, recovery from Mental Illness is possible, and I have personally seen so many people at different stages of their journey go on to lead a life free of their disorder. What we must remember is that where there is understanding, there is hope.
So how are you going to help with the fight in battling stigma?
*Links to some helplines and websites.
The Samaritans- 116 123 (UK and Ireland)
Lifeline (NI only) 0808 808 8000