Today is October 11th, and there isn’t much notable about this day, except that it’s the day after World Mental Health day. And while many people who yesterday were sharing messages of support and talking about how we should end the stigma of mental health have gone back to their daily lives, there are still people suffering with mental ill health.
For me, the downside of mental health day is that mental health is a fashionable topic for a day. It’s “on trend” to talk about it and to write messages of support, and this is a really good thing – but that dialogue and support seems to only be present on that one day.
Mental health is a spectrum, and we all fall somewhere on it, just like with physical health. Mental ill health still exists every other day of the year, and unfortunately remains stigmatised. So instead of saying you’re depressed, because you didn’t get Glastonbury tickets (when you’re actually sad), or saying the weather is bipolar when it changes rapidly, or saying someone is acting like a schizo because they’ve had mood swings, don’t add more stigma to the topic by using clinical terms to talk about negative things.
Mental Health is not something that should only be spoken about one day a year, it should be a topic that is discussed day in, day out. We should feel as comfortable talking to a friend/relative/medical professional or posting on social media about mental health as we do physical health.
Today is October 11th, it is not World Mental Health Day, but it is still ok not to be ok.
If you are based in the UK and having a mental health crisis, or just want to talk to someone, you can call The Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123.