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.
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.