Twitter will be sympathetic this week, even empathetic.
Tips will be shared, there will be discussions about ‘stigma’ and how in these more enlightened days, mental health issues are treated in the same way as physical ones.
Except that’s still not the case. Why is that? Are people frightened that their own minds might be as fragile as those around them? Are people embarrassed, irritated, inconvenienced? Do they see it as yet another modern ‘trend’?
I wrote about my own engagement with the black dog recently. The more of us who do this, who say, ‘this is me’, in just the same way one discusses a broken arm, a dicky heart, or a chest infection, the more we will break through the awkward silence, the suspicion, the blatant disregard of situations which need our help.
This is me. Get over it.
Follow the #mentalhealthawarenessweek tags on Twitter. Read around the links and articles which will be shared. Take a look at the cartoons and photographs.
Don’t say people ‘confess’ to a mental health condition. Don’t treat them as something shameful – if a colleague of yours is ill, then treat them the same way you would with a physical ailment. Send them a get well card. Say you hope they’ll feel better soon. You know, ‘normal’ stuff.
Because these are ‘normal’ people. I hope this week makes that clear, and gets the dialogue moving, continuing, and progressing.
Lou’s Top Tips:
- Put yourself first. Not anyone else.
- Fight for what is right for you, whether that is in work or personal life.
- Engage where you feel up to doing so, disengage where you need to.
- Don’t feel guilty is you can’t do something. It doesn’t matter.
- Find something you enjoy, as that will lift you up.
- Forgive ignorance, however well meant.
- Be honest.
- Value yourself. If you don’t why should anyone else?
- Go out and listen to the birds sing.
- Look back to those you loved, and situations which made you happy.
- Be mindful. Meditate.
- If you believe in something, don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong.
- Be that inner child again.
- And finally … life is short. Don’t waste it.