I have hardly done any of my Dates To Note this year, as I have already covered most of the ones I wanted to do and there seems little point in repeating myself. But one notable date that I always want to mark is World Mental Health Day (WMHD) which, as ever, falls on 10th October. Yes, check your calendars, that’s today!
Regulars will know that I started this blog two years ago to share my experience of depression, in the hope that this would be helpful to others as well as to me. One of my earliest posts was for WMHD 2012, and I will continue to mark the day as it is dear to my heart. Much has changed in my life in that time, but sadly the stigma attached to mental health issues show no signs of going away.
Each year a theme is chosen for WMHD. Last year it was older people’s mental health, which I thought was quite suitable for me as I had just retired! This year’s focus is on schizophrenia which, as I know from my many years working for an NHS mental health service provider, is a seriously debilitating illness. It affects many more than just the person diagnosed with it: it can be cruelly destructive for families and relationships, and for sufferers’ ability to work and live a ‘normal’ life. The very name ‘schizophrenia’ is usually approached with fear and the ‘I was in two minds’ quips that roll so easily off the tongue. We should all be better informed so as not to perpetuate this, especially as the ‘split personality’ aspect attributed to schizophrenia is a complete misconception!
Rather than attempt my own explanation of the illness I thought it best to point you in the direction of the experts. If you follow this link to the Mental Health Foundation website you will find a great deal of helpful information on WMHD and also a range of other mental health topics. As ever, I am also giving you the link to the NHS website, which provides a huge amount of useful information and suggested further reading, if you are interested.
I hope you can take a few minutes to read what the experts say. I believe you will be better informed if you do!