Although still stigmatised mental health is something that is being increasingly discussed and understood in popular media, and our society. In recent years celebrities have been coming forward to discuss the battles they’ve had with their own mental health, to help bring to light just how important it is to understand these issues and how talking about them can help those affected feel more accepted, and ‘normal’ – whatever that may be.
Today it has been announced that Theresa May will take action to improve the support given to people struggling with mental illness, hoping to reduce the number of suicides we see each year in the UK. The plan will include how employers and schools can take the necessary steps towards noticing those struggling with mental health and also how to help them.
It’s with the recent tragic passing of Carrie Fisher that we have been reminded just how much of a trail blazer she really was. Since her death there have been a number of social media posts awash with iconic photos and quotes of the beloved actress who used her fame to talk about many subjects that we find uncomfortable, including her ongoing battle with her mental health. Carrie was never ashamed to admit that she struggled and her brazen approach to the discussion in the limelight has helped, and will continue to help, many people.
“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on.” – Carrie Fisher
At the start of 2016 YouTuber Leanne Lim Walker posted a video about her best friend Jacqueline; a loveable, bubbly person who sadly took her own life just the year before. It’s a standout video for so many people, as YouTube is usually flooded with superficial topics and content with only one aim – to entertain. Leanne’s heartfelt video sheds light on how mental health can affect those we love so dearly and why that is so important to understand.
Mental health in itself is such a broad term to use when there are so many different aspects of it, however giving it an umbrella name makes a topic as big as this one so much easier to swallow. Opening a general discussion and beginning a small understanding will eventually give us the chance to tackle each aspect on a wider scale, in turn helping our future generations.
Although Theresa May’s plans may only be a small step by our government it is undeniably a crucial one, in hopes that one day we are all greater educated and understanding when it comes to mental health. So whether you know someone who struggles, or you yourself suffer with mental health it’s time to take action.
Learn more about Mental Health in the UK here.