Today is ‘Time to talk’ day.
Until my late 20s, I hadn’t realised the importance of talking about mental health.
I grew up in a society that stigmatises mental health problems. I gotten used to hiding in the shadows, and wearing a mask while out. But that never worked. I thought that supressing what I was experiencing was effective, but it bubbled away quietly until it spiralled out of control. By then, I had had major hospital admissions and struggled with coping.
When I moved to London, I never imagined that people would want to talk about mental health. But I was pleasantly surprised to find empathetic listening ears among friends and co workers. We talked about it, over tea, coffee, long walks, apple juice, on support forums (Depression Alliance and Mind’s Ele Friends), over email, text… every and any scenario offered an opportunity to talk.
It was hard at first opening up but taking time to talk about it actually helped. It made me realise I was not alone and that there were people who genuinely cared for me. It helped me to avoid more admissions too.
Now, I encourage others to talk about it. Talking about it might seem difficult but it’s as easy as having a cup of tea together. The more we talk about it, we break down the barriers that bar people from getting the help they need. Someone you know is experiencing a mental health problem. It can be distressing and scary, and it helps to know we have friends.
Conversations save lives.
Let’s end discrimination against mental health. The time is now.
Visit the http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday-about Time to Change website for ideas on how to start a conversation.
Gentle hugs 🙂
Sorry for my absence, I’ve been a bit poorly lately but will be back properly soon x