Friday, 11 October 2013

World Mental Health Day.

I have mental health. You have mental health. We all have mental health. 
Sometimes we have ill mental health, sometimes we have well mental health.
Some of us have illnesses concerning our mental health. 
But we all have mental health! (This is a good thing...)

My mental health isn't great at the moment! You can probably tell that from my most recent posts. But that's OK. Most people at some point will struggle with their mental health, and I want you all to know:
-if that's you, don't be ashamed.
-if it's someone you know, don't be ashamed or afraid of them.
-if it's not you or someone you know it's not a bad thing to learn about while your lucky enough to be well :)

Be aware.
I'd love to live in a world where illness didn't exist. Wouldn't we all? But we live in a world where it does exist. We live in a world where we are surrounded by it and by the brokenness it causes in us and in those around us. It hurts. Some people experience physical illness, some mental illness, some both. It's fairly likely you know someone who is hurting physically right now, and someone who is hurting mentally right now. We need to be aware. We need to be aware of ourselves, of our mental and physical health, so if something is wrong we can ask for help. And we need to be aware of those around us, of their mental and physical health, so if something's wrong we can offer them support and help.

Be supportive.
If someone is struggling, they may reach out for help, but with a mental health problem sometimes it's difficult to express. If you don't understand what they are saying it's OK to ask again. If they say something that doesn't fit with your world do not tell them they are stupid, because for them it could be very very real. For example, some people who have hallucinations will see things you cannot see, just as clearly as you can see this writing on your screen. This doesn't make them stupid, but they may need help and support. Telling them they're stupid or that they can't possibly see it will not help. They can, and saying to them they can't could be very distressing. Just like if I told you that the screen your reading this on isn't really there. You'd think "but I can see it. I can I can I can. I can touch it. It's there". That's what they would think. 

Healthy body healthy mind?
If you don't have a mental health problem or you do, keeping your body healthy can help your mind work. (Yes I know I'm rubbish at this, but apparently it's true). Sleeping well, eating well, exercising regularly, doing things you enjoy, all help your mental health. If you do have a mental health problem these can become hard. But that doesn't mean you can't try. And try. And try again. 

HELP!
Please please please, if you have concerns about your mental health or someone close to you, then get help sooner rather than later. Have a look on the MIND website, or beat if it's eating related. Or visit your GP. Speak to those close to you, who you trust and ask for help. It's difficult to get help without asking. And keep asking, sometimes it takes a lot of asking, and a lot of time. But don't give up on yourself or anyone else.

For more mental health information visit MIND, Re-think mental health, beat, bipolar UK, Samaritans, Young Minds, Minds Like Ours and The Site.org.

And I wish you a well World Mental Health Day.

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