The rise in acceptance and normalisation of talking about mental health over the past few years has been very welcomed. Removing the stigma of mental ill health has undoubtedly helped many.
There have been some great high-profile campaigns and initiatives such as Heads Together www.headstogether.org.uk. This has been led by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It’s a coalition of mental health charities who have come together to campaign for people to speak out about their mental health problems and not be fearful of prejudice. Some include The Mental Health at Work gateway and Mentally Healthy Schools.
‘Through our work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities, and with veterans, we have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges’. (Taken from www.headstogether.org.uk/about)
What Help is Available?
Another is ‘Time to Change’ www.time-to-change.org.uk. This is a growing social movement who encourage a change in the way that mental health problems are thought about. They work hard to help bring about an end to discrimination by encouraging people to talk about it & to remove the fear of being treated differently.
Mind is a fantastic mental health charity who provide advice and support to those in need. They regularly campaign to raise awareness and improve services. They work nationally and locally through Local Minds. Their website is an amazing tool where you can find information as well as support services for various mental health topics. (www.mind.org.uk)
Young Minds is a UK charity which focuses on working with children and young people. They campaign for increased awareness and to fight discrimination. YoungMinds provide advice and support for children and young people. However, they also provide guidance for parents / carers and professionals. They run courses on various mental health topics including adolescent mental health and self-harm. (www.youngminds.org.uk)
There have been clear improvements with how we view mental health. The stigma attached to it is softening, but it does remain an issue. Mental health can be so very isolating and lonely – making it difficult for somebody to feel safe enough to reach out and ask for help. Our lifestyles have changed enormously over recent years, and with social media there can be an increased pressure to show others how great things are, even when they’re not.
It’s also great to see mental health being talked about, and campaigns being promoted and getting coverage on the news – supported as well by those able to use their fame to promote the work they do, particularly for me young people and men – including sportsmen, presenters, actors and musicians. Encouraging the conversation between men has been amazing to see. #project84 has been a recent example of this. (https://www.projecteightyfour.com/)
It is important is to keep talking, to keep learning and to take notice. To notice that friend who is struggling. If you are finding things tough – talk to others. If you don’t feel able to talk to family or friends, there’s lots of support out there. As well as the ones discussed here, there are lots of charities where you can talk in confidence either via the internet/telephone as well as in person. You can go and see your GP, or, you could go and see a counsellor. If money is a worry then there are often counsellors who offer discounted fees, or who work within the NHS at no cost. There may also be local charities that provide low cost therapy. See my website link for contact details / links to various support. https://somerset-counselling.com/useful-links
I’ve only spoken briefly about a few in this blog, but there is a huge amount of advice and support out there and I wanted to use this to begin another conversation about mental health and well-being.
What are your thoughts or experiences? Would be great if you could share. Do you have links to a fundraiser or maybe you support one of these charities / movements. Let me know