Mental health problems might actually be more common than you think. One in four of us will be affected by mental illness in any year. The effects are as real as a broken arm, even though there isn’t a sling or plaster cast to show for it.
What you can do to help:
- Stay in someone’s life - be there, make time to keep in touch.
- Your support will help their recovery.
- If someone talks to you about their problem, don’t brush it off. Ask the person how you can best support them.
- Don’t define people by their mental health problems.
- Think about your everyday language; “nutter,” “crazy,” “psycho” can hurt.
Visit our blogs to read real life accounts of living with mental health problems, read our tips on how to talk to someone about their mental health or get contact details for help and support services.
The stigma around mental health
Talking openly with friends can be an important part of life, yet having a conversation about mental health seems to be a step too far for some of us. The shame and secrecy around mental health not only makes the issue harder to speak about, but it can lead us to exclude others, make assumptions and treat people in negative ways. Being able to talk about it openly, on the other hand, can take the taboo out of something that affects us all.
“I believe that it is essential to talk openly about mental illness to reduce the stigma and discrimination that individuals experience and to dispel the negative stereotypical image of sufferers.
The majority of people who experience mental health problems are not dangerous, they are not 'freaks', they are conscientious, hard working, caring and valuable members of society.”