It’s World Mental Health Day and I couldn’t be any happier that people are finding the time to speak up whether that is to say they have their own hurdles and struggles or to simply offer a shoulder to anybody in need. It is this awareness that will really help those who are really in need of it. There are still stigmas attached to mental health but slowly and surely we are breaking those down.

We all have own battles and the only person who can truly understand what we are going through is ourselves but that doesn’t mean we should carry the burden of our woes alone. We should be living in a society where mental health is treated the same as a broken bone. We are very quick to offer help to a person who injures themselves physically but we shy away from helping somebody who suffers with their mental health. Dismissing peoples’ mental health as “you’re just feeling a little bit sad” or “lighten up, it might never happen” are meant in jest but can really damage a person’s mental state more and knock their confidence to speak up.

It’s not easy to ‘heal’ somebody who suffers with their mental health but we can all do our part to be more understanding and be there for each other. I’ve suffered with my own mental battles many times now and I can thank the circle of people who offered their support in different ways. It is however, important to understand that whilst we are encouraging people to speak up, not everybody will want to straight away and that is fine.

The most simple thing we can do is to ask “How are you?”. If you think somebody may be struggling, talk to them. It doesn’t have to be about their mental state, it can be any conversation. This helps to show that they are not alone and have somebody to talk to.

Together we can help erase the stigma of mental health and as a society grow to accept that mental health needs to be taken seriously. I’ve overcome many of my hurdles but there are still everyday struggles that I have to contend with and that is fine!

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