Looking beyond mental illness to mental wellness
Mental health has been in the headlines recently with high profile campaigns on social media like #FindMike, when Jonny Benjamin began his search for the stranger on the bridge who saved his life as he stood contemplating suicide following his diagnosis with schizoaffective disorder.
But while this has done much to publicise mental health, many still feel it’s something we’re born with or that only happens to ‘other people’.
The team at The Matthew Elvidge Trust see mental health as a continuum and believe that concentrating on mental wellbeing is one way to destigmatise mental illness. Positive mental health is what enables us to handle the everyday ups and downs, but when we aren’t able to cope with the downs, that’s a sign our mental wellness needs a helping hand.
Many people suffering from mental health issues don’t feel able to ask for help, but others may not even know why they feel the way they do. Periods of anxiety and depression can lead to suicide but sufferers will often hide their symptoms from close friends and family so being aware of the signs can be vital to ensure help and support is available when it’s needed.
If someone you know appears to be struggling to cope, generally down or suffering from anxiety, don’t be embarrassed to ask them if they are OK or offer support. Sometimes something as simple as sparing a little time to offer a way forward is enough – we only need to look to Jonny Benjamin and ‘Mike’ to see how a simple act can turn around someone’s life at a difficult time.
We need to look beyond the stigma of mental health. It’s simply an illness.
For more information on coping with mental illness and the support available, visit The Matthew Elvidge Trust.
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I have over 20 year’s marketing experience working for companies including Hewlett Packard, Royal Mail, Hitachi and AQA. I live in Fleet and am the owner of thebestof Fleet helping small and medium companies...