Don’t we all have mental health?
A recent study by the Mental Health Foundation, Surviving or Thriving? The state of the UK’s mental health, on the mental wellbeing of Briton’s, found that 65% of the sample population have experienced mental health problems. More than a quarter (26%) have had a panic attack and 42% said they have had depression.
Personally, I think that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Ok, I’m going to say it…life is tough. It never runs smoothly. We all suffer losses, difficult changes, traumas and are often very negative about ourselves. No wonder most of us struggle at times. I meet lots of people in the course of my work. The majority of people who walk through my door feel lost, ashamed that they are struggling and have had to access professional help. This is where the nation’s problems lie. If we could embrace mental health as something that affects us all, then maybe the stigma surrounding it would reduce. Maybe then, people would feel more confident in saying “I need help”, early on, before they sink into depression or struggle with anxiety symptoms.
I have worked in the mental health field since 1994 (I can’t believe it’s that long!) and, I hope, have helped lots of people along the way. Over the years, I have had my own battles to face; traumas, relationship breakups, traumatic bereavements, work stressors and ultimately, episodes of depression and anxiety. I have had therapy, to help me deal with these things, which has made me stronger, more empathetic to others difficulties and shaped who I am as a person and a therapist. I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that I don’t see mental health difficulties as a sign of weakness at all. I see them as a sign of strength in a person. I like to think I’m a stronger person because of what I’ve been through and I hope, if you’re reading this, that you’ll recognise your own strength too.
Surviving or Thriving? The state of the UK’s mental health, is downloadable here.