I wrote last year about World Mental Health Day, and the pressures that the mental health care system was facing, particularly in response to the pandemic, which impacted people in a plethora of different ways.
I said 12 months ago that people were being left waiting for help that was urgently needed – and that I didn’t know what the solution was, but that Government needed to acknowledge the failings and gaps, and invest more heavily into providing that support long term for those most in need.
What’s changed since then?
Well – not an awful lot, to be honest. The same pressures are still sitting on the shoulders of our population, the same crisis of too many people in crisis with too little resource to support them, the same lack of funding for those most desperately in need.
But in that 12 months people have been continuing to speak more openly and honestly about their own mental health, creating safe spaces in their social circles and workplaces to support one another, to bring comfort and guidance, and to help people find channels to help themselves whilst they wait to access professional support.
This honesty is absolutely vital when it comes to mental health awareness; loneliness and shame are the biggest dangers, and those who find their mental health suffering often feel that they are failing in some way, or that they need to try and disguise or hide that struggle.
The problem with that is it leaves you alone in that dark place, with nothing but the struggle for company – and that can make it seem like it’s everything, everywhere, everywhen – and that’s when it gets too big to cope with – and that’s when the danger of taking drastic steps increases.
Instead, speaking honestly, openly and discussing the ways we are finding things difficult, the things we find overwhelming, releases a huge amount of the pressure – meaning that we feel lighter and freer, that we have those challenges in common and are all experiencing similar situations, so we aren’t alone with them. Sharing problems is a powerful way to ease them.
Not everyone can access care and support at the moment – so the pressure is on everyone to find ways to lighten the load and support one another as a community, and to speak more honestly with our friends and family, with our employers and colleagues, and with the services which we can access for help.
If you are looking for support and want a safe place to speak to someone experienced and qualified, and feel ready to work through the challenges you’re currently struggling with to make all of your tomorrows easier. You can contact me through this website, through Facebook, LinkedIn or email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on 07849 037095 – you can also message or call via WhatsApp on the same number, and I offer video sessions for those who are still unable to meet in person. I can help – you don’t have to struggle alone, and our work together is completely confidential.