Every year, 10 October is World Mental Health Day, as designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This may not mean a lot to many people, who are happily unaware of the problems that can be caused by mental illness, both to the sufferer and their loved ones, and of the stigma which still attaches, even in these supposedly enlightened times. I have worked for nearly 20 years for an NHS Trust which provides mental health services, and have been actively involved on a number of occasions with the events we have run to mark the day. As I said in my introductory post, I have spent the past year or more suffering from depression, which has been chosen by the WHO as the theme for this year’s celebration of the Day.
I feel very strongly that this horrible illness needs to be much more widely understood. It is certainly much more widespread than most people realise, and I know from my own experience how hurtful it can be when someone who has no clue of what you are suffering has a go at you – phrases like ‘man up,’ ‘get a grip,’ or ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself’ can really do some damage. Can I please ask anyone who takes the time to read this to also follow the link below to the WHO’s site, which tells you much more about the day, mental health in general, and depression in particular. And please pass this message and the link on to as many people as you can. The link is:
Thank you for reading. And thank you for improving your understanding and, hopefully, that of others.