I’ve read some amazing and brave stories today, and I wish I could share them all, I’ve been so inspired by others.
I talk openly about my depression and anxiety and always will; it is a part of me and if I can help one person to seek help or feel better, then I will carry on doing what I’m doing.
I’ve been on both sides – I’ve been a friend, partner and family member to people suffering from mental illness as well as suffering myself and it is equally as hard sometimes to be on the other side.
There is nothing worse than seeing a loved one suffering and not being able to help – you feel powerless and sometimes like you are not needed.
It can hurt to be rejected, shouted at, and ignored, and it can be confusing when you’ve done nothing wrong.
But you really are needed – the smallest of things can help someone in an hour of need – sharing a joke, making a cup of tea, anything at all can make a different without you even knowing.
Mental illness is invisible and you may have no idea that the cheerful lady you see at the bus stop every day is struggling and considering suicide.
I’ve been brought up to live by the motto “treat others as you wish to be treated yourself” and I’m a firm believer in it.
What if that lovely lady at the bus stop is considering suicide? A smile and a greeting, corny joke, or just an acknowledgement from you may be enough to get her through.
So this World Mental Health Day, I just want to say this – be kind to yourself and others. Be mindful of your own mental health and that of people around you, friends, family and strangers.
Smile, laugh, talk, listen – and know that you can make a difference.
Stay positive. This too shall pass.