Last Sunday marked the end of Mental Health Awareness week but the conversation surrounding mental health shouldn’t just end because the week is over. It is so important to keep the mental health conversation going because there is still so much stigma, awareness and support that needs to be raised.
Even if you don’t suffer from any form of mental illness you still have mental health. Everyone has mental health. But like your physical health, you can measure your mental health by whether it’s good, average or bad. Just like your physical health, it doesn’t always stay the same and your mental health can vary over time.
This is why it is so important to keep the mental health conversation going because we can shine a light on how normal it is that your mental health can change. Your mental health can dip for a number of reasons such as losing your job, the end of a relationship, going through a traumatic event, a prolonged period of stress and so many other valid reasons.
If we don’t have these conversations about our mental health, we’re not only not looking out for each other and ensuring we give each other the best support we can, but we’re also neglecting ourselves.
It isn’t just the people with mental health issues that need a voice or who need to be talking about mental health. Everyone needs to be talking about mental health. It affects us all whether you go through a stressful time, know someone who is currently suffering from a mental health related illness or you witness the effects of an anxious world on your generation.
The more we take the time to keep the mental health conversation going the more chance we stand at the beginning to understand ourselves and each other. Everyone deserves to look after themselves and their mental wellbeing. We all deserve to have people around us who can provide us with the best mental health support.
5 ways you can keep the mental health conversation going right now
- Check in with a friend or loved one – make sure you’re regularly checking in with friends and loved ones to make sure they’re ok. Ask them how they are and what they’ve been up to. Continue the conversation more than just ‘Yeah I’m fine.’ and listen to them without giving advice if they confide in you about how they’re feeling.
- Practice speaking and sharing your own mental health – if someone asks you how you are doing, be honest and share with them how you’re currently feeling. They’ll probably appreciate you opening up to them and this will not only benefit you from gaining support, but it will encourage them to share too. This applies to even the good days!
- Promote self-care and good wellbeing – raise awareness of the importance of looking after yourself and ensuring you’re giving yourself the best care to provide yourself with good overall wellbeing.
- Ditch mental health-related slang – when having conversations with people in everyday life avoiding using terms like ‘physco, crazy, mental or nutter’ when describing other people. They just make you look narrow-minded and disrespectful.
- Make it normal – make the conversation surrounding mental health a normal part of everyday life, the same way you would speak about your physical health, make it a regular everyday topic that you explore.
So let’s end the stigma, keep the mental health conversation going and ensure that we’re making the topic of mental health normalised.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this.
What can we do more to keep the mental health conversation going?