A few years ago, Mind published the results of a national study about people’s perceptions of mental health issues. This is what they found:
Thanks for all your support and involvement throughout this week. It’s great to see so many people interested in learning about mental ill health and the people whose lives it can affect. Even though Mental Health Awareness Week is over for another year, please continue supporting this incredibly important issue; one that can affect us all, no matter our history, our lifestyle or our make-up. By opening up about our mental health, we take control. By supporting each other and taking time to learn about these issues, rather than perpetuating tired stereotypes, we take away their power. So please, continue what we’ve started this week and raise your voice for those 1 in 4 of us who will experience mental health issues in the coming year. Thank you, citizens of Mental Health Land x
I spent a long time thinking about the most appropriate piece with which to kick off Mental Health Awareness Week 2016. I thought about discussing the lack of funding to mental health care, or maybe the Royals’ new ‘Heads Together’ initiative – both important issues, but there’s plenty of time for those. This week, the primary focus is on the people who have lived with these experiences. These are the people we can all learn from. Any side issues are secondary – they will have their time, but at the centre of every mental health conversation should be the people who experience them. So that’s where I’ll be starting today.
This is a video of a slam poem by Sabrina Benaim called ‘Explaining Depression to My Mother’. Honestly, I don’t usually like slam poetry but this one is different. She means every word she says. ‘When I say I’ve been busy lately, I mean I’ve been falling asleep watching Sports Centre on the couch to avoid confronting the empty side of my bed, but my depression always drags me back to my bed’. In my mind, you can’t get closer to the truth than that. Please take a few minutes to watch. Does Sabrina’s depiction match your own ideas about depression? Maybe you’ve experienced depression (most of us have at some time), do you think Sabrina does it justice? What would you add? I’d love to hear from you. Just click on this link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqu4ezLQEUA.
Stigma shames us all. Let’s turn ignorance and discrimination into knowledge and support by continuing to educate ourselves and others about mental health. Big love to the rest of the mental health blogging community for taking up the fight.
‘I have a suspicion that society, in its heart of hearts, despises depressives because it knows they have a point: the recognition that life is finite and sad and frightening – as well as those more sanctioned outlooks, joyful and exciting and complex and satisfying. There is a secret feeling most people enjoy that everything, at a fundamental level, is basically OK. Depressives suffer the withdrawal of that feeling.’
What does depression really feel like? Tim Lott has a darned good go at describing it. Give it a read and let me know what you think.
‘What does it mean to be crazy? To have a disorder of the mind. But “disorder” can only exist if there is some kind of pre determined “order” set in place. And who decides on order relative to the human mind? Human society. Sane and insane is a judgment based on perspective. And according to many other perspectives within this universe, it is human society that is rampant with disorder. So there is no reason to think of yourself as insane; if the very mindset of the society that determines whether you are sane or insane… is in and of itself insane!’ -Teal Scott