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Opening up: Time to Talk Day 2019

Even in 2019, there are individuals out there who still believe mental health isn’t something to be discussed. That the subject is uncomfortable and threatening; or that those experiencing mental ill-health are weak or, even worse, dangerous. These people would prefer it if we didn’t talk about such problems in either private or public and kept them to ourselves.

But it’s attitudes like this which mean too many of us are made to feel embarrassed because of a mental health issue. One in four individuals will be affected this year alone and it’s incredibly sad to hear that over half of them will say the associated isolation and shame is worse than the condition itself. The social stigma attached to mental ill-health and discrimination experienced because of it can make the problem worse, and recovery even harder than it already is.

Attending a Mental Health First-Aider course recently not only helped me to become better equipped to properly support those around me; it also made me realise just how important it is to talk and raise awareness about these subjects. Having conversations about mental health can help break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something which will affect each of us at some point in our lives.

It’s one of the reasons why I’m taking part in this year’s Time to Talk Day, an annual event which encourages everyone to have open discussions. An associated social movement called Time To Change is led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and these amazing charities quite rightly believe nobody should have to face a mental health problem alone.

As I’ve written before, changing the way we all think about act about mental health is long overdue. Being open to the subject and talking about it frankly doesn’t have to be awkward or tense, and the associated stigma and exclusion will be a thing of the past once everybody realises this. Simply being there for a family member, friend or colleague can make a massive difference to them.

Today is a day for encouraging everyone to have a conversation about mental health. My channels are open to anyone who’d to chat – whether you want talk more about this post, are interested in hearing what the First-Aider course was like, need to hear a friendly voice, or would just like to talk to someone who isn’t going to judge. I can’t say I’ll know how to fix what you’re going through but I can be there with you through it.

It’s time for change. Together we’re stronger, and we can make a difference.

For anyone interested in finding out more about the Mental Health First-Aider course – an experience I found extremely worthwhile and would highly recommend – please visit the MHFA England website.

Kim View All

Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

7 thoughts on “Opening up: Time to Talk Day 2019 Leave a comment

  1. Mental health issues have become increasingly important — or perhaps it’s more accurate to say a lot more prominent — over the course of the last few years, and I’m glad to see people being more open about it.

    I didn’t know what depression and anxiety really were until I was in a sort of on-off relationship with someone who was hit particularly hard by both of them while I was at university. Being with her helped me understand something that had been at the back of my own mind for a lot of my own life, but which I had never really felt able to acknowledge, understand or explain.

    In later years, an online conversation with someone with Asperger’s brought up a number of extremely familiar points — so much so that I decided to go to the doctor and investigate, and sure enough, I have been dealing with Asperger’s for much of my own life.

    Understanding yourself is extremely important. Being able to communicate those things you’ve come to understand about yourself is, likewise, extremely important. And so is being considerate of those who have opened up about their mental health — and especially those who *haven’t*, but are still clearly struggling.

    Regrettably, I’ve been on the receiving end of people handling mental health extremely poorly; I’ve been bullied and forced out of several jobs for issues relating to it. Thankfully I’m now in a position where I feel reasonably secure, but I still suffer from “impostor syndrome” somewhat, and anxiety and depression never truly go away.

    Keep talking, everyone. Struggling with mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t get ashamed of having an obviously “physical” disease that you have no control over, so there’s no reason why you should be ashamed over a chemical imbalance in your brain. While the effects may not be as “obvious” to some, it’s still an illness. And as such, support and treatment helps more than suffering in silence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Pete. Love that last paragraph. ❤

      The Mental Health First-Aider course opened my eyes to a lot of things going on around me. I came away with an awareness of just how many people are affected by mental health issues and how many more are struggling but feel as though they can't talk about it. It also gave me a greater understanding of my own health, making me realise that perhaps I need to be more open about my own anxiety too.

      If I can use what I learnt to help just one person, then it'll all be worth it. And if I can do my bit on the blog to increase awareness and do something to help get rid of the stigma attached to mental health, then I'll keep doing it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, one of my new years resolutions is to talk more openly about my mental health issues. Step by step since it’s not the easiest thing to open up about. Since you feel afraid that people aren’t going to accept you anymore after you tell your story or that people are going to talk to you differently because you are that special snowflake with mental health issues.

    But, I bottled it up enough inside, it’s time to talk about it. It’s destroying me from the inside out and I want to change that. I need to change that before I sink away in an even deeper hole that’s even more difficult to climb out off.

    Like

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