Today is World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and we thought it would be important to include a blog on our website about the stigma associated around mental health and how it needs to be stopped.
It affects one in four of us…
Mental illness is very common. Statistics and research have shown one in four people will experience a mental health illness at some stage of life; that means you or someone you know well. Even though that ratio is high, it is not stating that it cannot be beaten, as it can. Every single person can find the strength inside them, and should be able to find the strength from others, to not let mental illness win. Therefore, we wanted to write this blog; we understand it’s an incredibly sensitive subject, but the stigma surrounding it must stop. Mental health does not, and will never define someone and it is our duty as human beings to help those who need help, and to not be afraid to ask for help ourselves.
Nine out of ten people who experience a mental health issue say stigma has affected their lives negatively, through ways such as finding work, long-term relationships, decent housing and of course being accepted socially into society. These factors can make their mental health even worse, thus making it harder to recover which leads to a viscous trap of a lifecycle of illness. It takes very little from us to lend a listening ear, but may mean an enormous amount to them.
Always remember what is most important…
In this life, most of us focus around getting a job, earning an income and generally going by how society ‘thinks’ we should live. Some of us forget what life is about; if every single person in this world was nice to each other, helped each other and made each other feel welcome and wanted – just think for a second the amazing potential that could be created.
There are national and local campaigns which are trying to change the negative attitude and stigma associated such as ‘Time to Change’ within the national voluntary sector. It is illegal to directly and indirectly discriminate against people with mental illness due to The Equality Act 2010. Unfortunately, the main difficulty is due to the media and press. They often like to portray people with mental health in a violent and dangerous manner, and sometimes relate them to some sort of evil monster, just to get a catchy headline and earn some cash: an example of putting money before the right thing to do.