Sunday October 10th is World Mental Health Day and why should I be bothered?
Because it could be the start of something.
Maybe it’s a chance to learn; to reflect on our own story; to engage with other people’s stories; to spread the word, to speak out; to become the change we’d like to see.
(Or at least one of the above; we won’t get ahead of ourselves.)
Statistics can cause our eyes and minds to glaze over. But they can also throw light on a situation – and here are one or two interesting ones, provided by Mind
Take, for instance, the effect of life lived on benefits. 58% of those receiving benefits said their mental health was poor. That’s high. And it is these people who will find support hardest to find. So what are they to do? Why do we punish the poor?
Black people are four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act than white people. Why would that be?
Young people in the lowest income bracket, (and therefore the most vulnerable) are four and a half times more likely to experience severe mental health issues than those in the highest. Is this fair?
The Mind charity uses the slogan, ‘If we all do one thing, we can change everything.’ So what’s your one thing?
It may be to take the first step in attending to your own mental health; this can be postponed for many years in the rush and demands of life. And it may presently be destroying you and those you know.
Or perhaps it’s opening our eyes to the health inequalities around us and helping to make something better for those whose struggles we’re aware of.
We can’t save anyone by ourselves; but perhaps we can be part of something, an angel on their journey, among other angels, giving practical help.
What’s possible for you?
If there is one thing we can do in response to World Mental Health Day 2021, let’s do it.
It could be good; could be the start of something.