1 in 4 people each year will experience a mental health issue, 1 in 6 adults each week experience the same mental health issue. These numbers blow my mind but at the same time do not surprise me. I think the situation could be even worse due to the fact there are so many who hide these issues, there are so many who suffer in silence and there are many who do not recognise they have an mental health problem as they have several coping mechanisms they’ve subconsciously devised. These people usually only realise there’s an issue when all their safeguards fail and a major event or crisis takes place.
Society has tainted the phrase mental health, it’s become a word associated with shame and embarrassment. A word of weakness, so often the next word that follows it is the word “crazy” or phrase “that person isn’t right”. Where did this way of thinking come from? People are afraid of what they do not understand.
What you find is that we’ve all brought into this negative way of thinking when it comes to the topic of mental health, including those suffering. Maybe I am crazy? Maybe people won’t want to speak to me. Maybe I’ll be shunned. Maybe they’ll scrutinise everything I do or say If they know, maybe this, maybe that. All this torment for someone experiencing an mental health issue only adds to the problem. This fear of being judged usually leads to people not seeking out the help they need.
Any condition be it physical or mental, left untreated is only going to get worse. Instead of prevention help is sort when a person is at breaking point suffering from a crisis. Maybe things would never even reach breaking point if we acted when the first signs arise or if we recognised the signs to start with. Be it professional help or self help, there must be an acknowledgment of the issue.
There are so many people who are lost in the system or being failed by it. It should not be so hard to get access to mental health services when you need them. When it comes to seeking helping this in it itself is a major put off for some people, the barriers and lack of understanding. The way the system is set up is so difficult for those who actually want help. When you do finally get through to someone 6 months later where would you even start, you may no longer be in a state of crisis but still very much need help… Good luck getting a correct diagnosis from someone who is following a tick box criteria in a limited time slot. Something definitely needs to change.
This is why I think it’s so important to talk about mental health issues with your peers, you’d be so surprised at the amount of people you know who may suffer with a condition. Conditions such as depression and anxiety are very common these days. These are mental health issues that may seem minor on the surface but they vary in severity from person to person, left unchecked they can and have become fatal like many other mental health issues.
We can’t always rely on the system to help us, sometimes we have to help ourselves because whilst we wait on the system passively we are not getting any better or any closer to controlling whatever it is that is going on.
There are things you can do to help yourself such as:
– Do your own research
– Find support groups
– Talk to friends and family
– Practice mindfulness techniques
– Keep a diary to try and see what works for you and what doesn’t
These are just a few things I can think of, but my point is do not rely on anyone or any service blindly. Yes seek out the help you need but don’t just wait and expect them to wave a magic wand over you and make you better. There is only so much medication can do, the cognitive side will still need to be tackled at some point.
I would like to add a disclaimer, for anyone who is in a mental health crisis please go to your nearest A&E or call 999, if you are already under a mental health team follow your care plan, alternatively book an emergency appointment with you GP or get in touch with the Samaritans or one of the other support groups/services which I’ll leave links to at the bottom of this post.
Mental health is no joke, we need to take our mental health as serious as our physical health. Without the mental there is no physical.
Breathe Think Write Release
- How to access mental health services
- Find Mental health support services near you
- Mental Health Foundation
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder in Adults
- Anxiety UK
- Talking therapies explained
- Depression Alliance
- Rethink Mental illness
- Men’s Health Forum
- Bipolar UK
- Young Minds
- No Panic
- Crisis Services