Mental Health Awareness Week

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It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the UK are currently suffering from a mental health illness, be it depression, phobias, eating disorders, anxiety or anything else, yet I still don’t think people are over the stigma of it. Yes a lot more brave people are coming out about their mental heath illnesses, and yes people are going to the doctors more but it still isn’t enough.

This week (16th-22nd May) is mental health awareness week and this year is particularly important for myself because last July my best friends boyfriend (and a friend of mine) committed suicide after battling with depression. Those closest to him knew he had depression as he was on medication but he never spoke of it. Many people though, including some of his family, were shocked because they were unaware that this chirpy, happy-go-lucky guy in his mid-twenties in a long-term relationship, with a good job and a degree was possibly depressed.

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The stats are shocking that the biggest cause of death in people aged between 25 and 44 is external suicide, and the numbers are even higher in men. Perhaps it’s because they’re less likely to ask for help, less likely to talk about their emotions, and less likely to reach out and say they’re struggling. But everyone deserves that help and that support.

The likelihood is almost all of us know someone who has battled with an eating disorder, is on medication for anxiety or depression, or perhaps has a phobia which affects the way that they live their lives. If you don’t then chances are you just don’t know about it.  I’ve spoken to and read blogs by a lot of inspirational people who are building their lives from their mental health illnesses and are open with their battles but enough people don’t talk about it.

If you’re worried about anyone make sure you reach out to them and make sure that they know you care, and that they know they aren’t alone.

May 17, 2016
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26 Comments

  • Reply Stella Kashmoney

    Wow those stats are shocking. Good more and more people are talking about this now.

    May 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm
  • Reply PrettyLusciousThings

    Thanks for this Rhian, people can really hide the symptoms really well and sometimes not even they can see their depressed themselves. We all need to look out for each other that little bit more.

    May 17, 2016 at 6:10 pm
  • Reply The London Mum

    I think with so much more pressure on us, and a faster pace of life the statistics are likely to just increase. It’s just one of those things that we need to take the stigma away from so people aren’t afraid to talk up. I’ve suffered from awful anxiety in the past which flares up still but I manage to control. After having my son I think I suffered quite badly with post natal depression which I still struggle with on occasion but not half as much. As much as I say this though I’m still one of those not comfortable to ask for help. I think I would if I felt completely out of control though.

    May 17, 2016 at 6:18 pm
  • Reply Elodie

    I’m sorry you had to deal with this loss, but I really admire how you now raise awareness for the cause. I can’t even count how many people I know dealing with MH issues and I really hope I never have to go through what you had to go through.

    May 17, 2016 at 6:48 pm
  • Reply Beth

    I am so sorry about your friend 🙁 It is so sad isn’t it! Someone was found near a bridge at the edge of the water near us two weekends ago and he had a mental illness. So sad

    May 17, 2016 at 7:26 pm
  • Reply Beautyqueenuk

    I am glad people are now talking more openly about mental health, I am hopeful it will put an end to the stigma it attracts x

    May 17, 2016 at 7:40 pm
  • Reply Ana De Jesus

    So sorry to hear about your friends suicide, the government need to do more to help those suffering with depression but the problem is that we get told we are drama queens when we are seeking help. It seems we can’t win but its important to keep fighting and help others.

    May 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm
  • Reply Anosa

    This brought a tear to my eye as same thing happened to my friend who sounds a lot like your late friend too. I didn’t know he was depressed it was such a shocker when he committed suicide

    May 17, 2016 at 10:33 pm
  • Reply Angela Ricardo Bethea

    I am both in tears and in awe … thank you so much for sharing. I am totally sorry about your friend and I hope there will be more of us who will be aware of the people around us and this amazing campaign.

    May 18, 2016 at 4:58 am
  • Reply Candace

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Depression/mental illness can affect anybody. There is no typical person who suffers. Yes, there is more awareness but it’s still seen as a taboo subject. One day society will break the barrier down and goofily everyone will be able to talk freely of their troubles

    May 18, 2016 at 8:43 am
  • Reply Sarahjane

    I have to say mental illness was always something taboo in my family until my sister attempted suicide. It is really great to see people open and willing to share. So glad I read this post. Thank you.

    May 18, 2016 at 8:47 am
  • Reply lisa prince

    its something i can relate to , im a very nervous and worrying person on the inside although some may see me as out there its pretty much just my canvas that keeps me ticking throught the day til im a lone and it all happens in the worse way , im so sorry to hear of your loss depression is something people feel to scared to share with others

    May 18, 2016 at 9:58 am
  • Reply Laura Hartley

    Jesus I had no idea that the number was as high as 1 in 4 people! I’d say the majority of people at my university have some sort of mental health problem at some point during their time at uni and there really needs to be more help available!

    May 18, 2016 at 10:18 am
  • Reply Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️

    I never knew how high the stats were! I’m so happy more people are talking about mental illness now as it should be treated the same as any other illness!

    May 18, 2016 at 11:45 am
  • Reply Nayna Kanabar

    The stats are so high , it’s unbelievable. It must be very hard for suffers to feel that they can share about this illness.

    May 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply Kacie

    I didn’t know it was National Mental Health Awareness week until I read your post – just goes to show you are definitely raising awareness by writing this 🙂 sorry to hear about your friend, it must be hard to talk about so publicly but it’s great that you feel able to do so in order to help others. X

    May 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm
  • Reply Corinne C

    So sorry to hear about your friend. I lost a friend to suicide when I was 12 and it was awful. Esp as he was only 13 himself. It’s hard to comprehend it.

    Corinne x

    May 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm
  • Reply Harriet @ Toby&Roo

    I had no idea about those stats for suicide! Thats awful – thank you for such an honest and informative post!

    May 18, 2016 at 8:16 pm
  • Reply Ali

    What a great post, there definitely needs to be more awareness, it is something that so many people don’t understand. My husband’s sister committed suicide so it is something that is close to our hearts.

    May 18, 2016 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply Liz Mays

    I didn’t realize the number was greater in men, but it makes sense that they might be less inclined to ask for help. We had a shocking one with the famous BMX biker Dave Mirra’s suicide recently. From outside appearances, he had it all, but obviously something was wrong. I’m so sorry about your friend. 🙁

    May 19, 2016 at 11:08 am
  • Reply Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend – mental illness is such a widespread problem and people should definitely be more sensitive and more aware in general.

    May 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply Bex Smith

    So sorry to hear about your friend. The stats are truly shocking x

    May 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Kira L Curtis

    So sorry about your friend! I hope his family and friends are ok! As much as they can be! It’s horrible when people get to the point that they feel the need to take their own lives. Really wish people were more aware of how much little things can affect people even if they seem like they have a perfect life!

    May 19, 2016 at 8:44 pm
  • Reply Melanie Edjourian

    So sorry to hear about your friend. I have a few friends that suffer frm depression and tehy know I am always there if they need me.

    May 19, 2016 at 9:22 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    Numbers are alarming. Treatment is a must so we can avoid or lessen the circumstances sooner or later.

    May 20, 2016 at 5:35 am
  • Reply Tara | C&CO.

    So sorry to hear about your friend, I think it’s great you’re raising awareness though!

    May 20, 2016 at 8:37 am
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