Updated: Mar 19
One in six adults experience mental illness in any given year, whilst one in seven live with anxiety disorders and almost the same number with depression.
We have likely all suffered, or at the very least know someone who has struggled with mental health issues at some point. Whilst some may say that they haven’t personally suffered or know anyone suffering, it’s likely because society has branded depression, anxiety, and any other mental health issue as taboo.
I know the claim that the vast majority of us suffer in one way or another is a pretty bold one to make, but the reality is mental illness presents in a number of forms, it affects people in many different ways, and is something we often keep secret from others, not to mention even from ourselves. Think of it as a spectrum upon which we can self-identify, crossed with a multitude labels that society casts on us all.
"Don't tell the others about this, you don't want this to impact you in that way.. having them think you're crazy..."
As far as statements in a professional setting go, this one set me back, mostly because I hadn't even had the chance to contemplate that I had an underlying issue, let alone the career changing implications of divulging this to the world.
The first step really is to challenge the stigma attached to mental health issues by talking honestly and openly about living with them, and I’d like to contribute to this conversation by telling my story, highlighting the stories of others, and speaking about the tangible, healthy and effective ways I’ve managed my own mental health over the years. Spoiler alert, it's all centred around community.
Over the coming weeks, months and hopefully years I’ll be curating and highlighting conversations around this important topic in a number of ways; from my own stories right here on this blog, to video content that highlights inspiring people around the world, extending even to random tips and tricks from my own life.
The focus will be on driving this content, so that not only can we continue to remove the stigma from the mental health conversation, but we can also find out what brings us closer together, offering a sense of community.
Join the Conversation
Lastly, I welcome you to contribute by completing a survey on attitudes to mental health and well-being, you don’t need to have lived with a mental health issues to join in as it’s important to encourage all voices on the subject. I’ll be sure to share relevant results from the research here on this blog.
I want this conversation to be as community-driven as possible, so keep in touch, tell me what you care about and what you’d like to read, watch or have featured.
Whats next? I'll be posting a bit more about me and what has brought me to this point, so keep an eye out for it all!