As a child, I was desperate to talk about my disability. Growing up and struggling through school, I wanted to know why I mentally and emotionally struggled. I also wanted to know why my left leg and foot looked different to the right one.
Mental health wasn’t on the radar. Issues were never discussed, or talked about. If children had emotional problems, they struggled. But when it comes to mental health the importance of talking cannot be stressed enough.
Today far more people have a basic understanding of mental health and the importance of talking and although we have a greater basic knowledge of mental health, there are still misconceptions and mental health issues are still rife in society and prevalent amongst young people.
A report by Time to Change estimate that 65% of young people with mental illness have faced stigma from their friends with 50% receiving stigma from their parents. The same report highlights the effects this can have on our mental health as well as on the rest of our lives.
30% said mental health had prevented them applying or taking up a university place. 50% talked about the fear of negative reactions preventing them from applying for jobs, or the stigma they had received. 28% said other people’s reactions had made them want to give up on life.
We must talk about how we feel. When others don’t talk, we learn not to talk. It’s all about opening up. Being able to say how you feel is one step further away from anxiety. Share your personal experiences, talk about how you feel. Do it.
We can all help make a society, where we don’t have to feel bad about things. By simply having a conversation, you take away the stigma of mental health.