Mental health illnesses affect 1 in 4 people. Is it really right that 90% of those face stigma and discrimination because of it? Mental health illnesses are a lot more common than most people think and in this post, I am going to go over why people don’t talk about mental health, why you should raise awareness for mental health and ways you can.
I have my own blog called Depression For Teens where I talk about mental health illnesses such as depression and ways to raise awareness as well as various other things so be sure to take a look!
Why Don’t People Talk About Mental Health?
Those who suffer from mental health rarely talk about it openly because they are scared of being judged and looked down upon. Society has made mental health illnesses seem like a bad thing which is why people hide having them. This is why you might be thinking “if mental health illnesses are so common then why don’t I know anyone with any?”, trust me, the odds are you do – you just don’t know about it.
Here are some facts on mental health:
- One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year
- Up to 10% of England’s population will suffer from depression at some point in their life
- 50 million people are affected by depression
- Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year
- Suicide is the 2nd largest cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
- Suicide is the most common cause of death for men between 20-49 years in England and Wales
- Over 90% of people who die from suicide have a mental health illness at the time of their death
Why You Should Raise Mental Health Awareness
By talking about mental health you will be raising awareness. And by raising awareness, you will be helping give confidence to those suffering and helping them to talk about how they feel. Now that in itself is a huge help to all those who are suffering from mental health illnesses.
For someone suffering from a mental health illness, it is already hard enough. Then on top of that, they end up having a constant fear of being judged and looked down upon. People get colds and coughs right? Just like that, people get a mental health illness. My teacher described depression as “a cough in your brain”.
I’m going to tell you a short story about a friend of mine. Maybe a real life example will help show you that what I am saying is indeed true.
I always had this one friend who I would openly talk to about how I feel. I felt she understood and cared. Little did I know that the person who helped me the most was fighting her own battle with depression.
Eventually, I put together some pieces and figured it out. Nobody, except me, actually knew about the battle she was facing. So I proceeded to ask her why she never told anyone and why she’s fighting it all alone. Her answer was “People would judge and look down on me”.
That just proves my point, and it hurt me when I heard her answer. We help each other now, and I hope nobody else has to suffer alone.
How You Can Raise Mental Health Awareness
So I’m going to assume you want to help out now. Here are 5 ways you can do so. These 5 are actually from an E-Book I wrote for my website. You can download this E-Book for free. The E-Book goes into all the details of these 5 points and gives you examples for raising mental health awareness so if you are interested then be sure to check it out.
- Talk About Mental Health
This has to be the easiest and most effective way to raise mental health awareness. You can bring up mental health by saying you read an article on it or saying you know someone suffering from it.
- Through Social Media
Using social media is effective because, let’s face it, some people are just more open about it! By posting on sites like Twitter and Facebook you are likely to reach friends and family who are also likely to share it with more people.
- Donate to a Mental Health Charity
You can donate to a mental health charity without anyone ever finding out. You don’t need to make a huge donation and you don’t even have to do a monthly one! But a donation of any type and any value is a huge benefit to many charities. Below (after the 5th point) I have listed some mental health charities, sorry if I couldn’t list all of them!
- Challenging Mental Health Stigma
It’s very possible that in your day to day life you may hear some comments about mental health. If those comments are discriminating against or putting those with mental health illnesses down, then you can stand up against it! By challenging the stigma that surrounds mental health you are potentially changing someone’s point of view on the subject. One change leads to another.
- Share Your Story
Show the world just how common mental health is by sharing your story. Don’t feel forced into this, of course, but by sharing your story you will be inspiring others, giving them hope, and show just how common mental health illnesses are. I’ve also put some links below for where you can share your story.
Mental Health Charities
Here are some mental health charities that you can donate to. These sites also have a lot of information related to mental health so be sure to check out what they have to offer!
Sharing Your Story
Below are three popular places where people have shared their mental health stories.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of when sharing your story. You also should not feel pressured into sharing stuff you don’t want to – it’s up to you. After sharing your story, you can even go a step further and share it on your social media!
Thanks for having a read and together we can stop the stigma 🙂