YOU ARE NOT ALONE: 'When your mental health is suffering, it swallows you whole'

Thank you to Derbyshire woman Katie Bagshawe for writing this column for us and helping to raise awareness.
Thank you to Derbyshire woman Katie Bagshawe for writing this column for us and helping to raise awareness.
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Why don’t we recognise our mental health as we do our physical health?

Why is there a black cloud that follows those with a mental health illness?

Depression and mental illness take a terrible toll. They rob people of their happiness and, too often, their lives. One in four people are likely to suffer from mental health problems but sadly there is still a stigma around these illnesses which stops people talking about them  and getting the help they need. Thats why we have launched a special campaign which aims to raise awareness of the issue, highlight what support is available to help people and let those who are struggling know that you are not alone...

Depression and mental illness take a terrible toll. They rob people of their happiness and, too often, their lives. One in four people are likely to suffer from mental health problems but sadly there is still a stigma around these illnesses which stops people talking about them  and getting the help they need. Thats why we have launched a special campaign which aims to raise awareness of the issue, highlight what support is available to help people and let those who are struggling know that you are not alone...

And why is there a consistent stigma that prevents people from coming forward when troubled?

Questions that many, including myself, battle with daily.

I personally have felt the debilitating grip of depression, the spiralling abyss of suicidal contemplation, the stabbing sensation of anxiety and found ways that have both hindered and helped my state of mind.

When your mental health is suffering, it swallows you whole and the last person you consider to look after is yourself.

It also holds no exceptions; we’d be lying if we all tried to convince ourselves that at some point our mental health hasn’t suffered in some way.

Stress, anxiety, depression, grief, helplessness, low self-esteem, addiction are common and illnesses such as schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, psychosis, eating disorders and many more aren’t a reason to shame those who suffer.

One in four of us will come across a mental health problem - that’s an abundance of people who might be struggling to manage their mental wellbeing.

Mental health is something we all need to be accountable for.

Our mind is a powerful tool that brings a multitude of emotions and a wealth of complications when pushed aside and left to mull without consequence.

That’s why it is vital we come together as a community and allow a person to talk openly and honestly about how they feel.

When you give that chance to someone struggling with a mental health illness, it might just be the difference between life and death.

There is a wealth of support that champion you, your mental health and want to make sure that in difficult times there is something, anything, that can help bring you a calmer and more peaceful mind.

It is vital you always remember that even in the darkest of times, you are not alone.

Helplines

The Samaritans provides a free, confidential listening service all day, every day, all year. Whatever you’re going through, you can call the helpline on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. Visit www.samaritans.org.uk for details about the Samaritans. Mind offers information and advice to people suffering from mental health problems. Call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 or email info@mind.org.uk. Visit www.mind.org.uk for more information about Mind.

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