Mental Health Personal

Let’s talk Mental Health Awareness: why the stigma?

Written by Channon Gray

Nothing annoys me more than the way that mental health is treated by some individuals; it upsets and bothers me no end. Mental Health Awareness in this country simply is not doing enough to the end the stigma of what it means to be ‘unwell’.

We’ve all suffered from mental health issues, whether it be diagnosed or not. It is not uncommon these days. Education, work, money (ugh), and life, in general, is demanding. Being human is not easy; and in all honesty, most days I’d rather be a cat. Let’s face it, I am probably not the only one wishing they were small, cute and furry without the hassles of the real-world balanced precariously upon my, already heavy, shoulders; but I was blessed with this life, so I’ve just got to put up and make do.

Mental Health Awareness // Let's Talk Advice, Awareness and Ways to Get Better // heythereChannon

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Mental Health including Depression, Anxiety and Self-Harm are huge topics that need to be out in the open and discussed. My aim is to remove the stigma and enable those who suffer a platform in which to share their own experiences and seek help/advice. Let's end the stigma - www.channongray.com // @heythereChannon #MentalHealthAwareness

The Problem…

Anyways, enough of my complaining. Now you might be wondering what has prompted this discussion, or rant. Well, for the past few weeks I’ve been watching Livestream’s posted by a lonely individual in his early-20s to our local Facebook buy and sell group.

He’s 21, just like me, but he lives on his own without friends nor family nearby. He is unemployed, suffering from a number of mental health conditions and is simply, a lost soul. And truthfully, it breaks my heart.

People in the comments are either supportive and understanding or completely vile with no empathy in the slightest. They aren’t even willing to listen nor give him a chance; only judge within seconds and often without even watching the video before having their say. I agree, posting in a ‘Flog It’ site is not the answer; but how lonely must an individual get before they find value in the idea of potentially embarrassing themselves in front of thousands? Think about that, just for a moment. I personally cannot imagine it myself; in fact, I’d never do it, ever.

Quick to Judge?

Even in the modern day world, individuals are quick to label mental health issues as something to be laughed at. Well, guess what, it isn’t funny. For those living with conditions that are incurable or always loitering over them, the 24 hours in a day is tough and far from straightforward. Simple tasks become large, unachievable, aspects of daily existence.

Most of us are fairly lucky, we have family and friends who care, comfort and stand by our decisions. They are a support network that makes even the most challenging of days a bit easier. However, for some, this network does not exist. They face every single day alone. I, personally, cannot picture myself in a situation where I’d have literally no one to talk too. Okay, sure, I’ve certainly felt like it; but realistically, I can always find at one, if not multiple people, to cheer me up or hear out my ‘problems’. Although, I’m able to comprehend that sadly not everyone has that option. Loneliness, from my perspective, is a huge part of the broader mental health crisis; alongside the issue of funding, or lack of, for better care and action plans to actually help get people back on their feet.

I’m sick of the stigma and its discrimination towards those in need. The more accepting we are, as a society, of mental health, the likelihood of people getting the right medical help and therefore societal support more generally will increase. We all need to raise mental health awareness. It needs to be firmly part of the everyday conversation; not something to be ashamed of. At the end of the day, it is okay not to be okay.

Mental Health Awareness // Let's Talk Advice, Awareness and Ways to Get Better // heythereChannon

So let’s start talking about it!

In the spirit of International Charity Day on September 5th, I want to open up the discussion on mental health awareness.

Here is a list of just a few charities/organisations that are useful if you are concerned about yourself or someone else regarding mental health:

I’m setting all of you reading this a challenge. I want you to share on social media the hashtag ‘#MentalHealthMatters‘; join me, alongside other advocates on a mission to de-stigmatise the conundrum that is mental health. We must raise mental health awareness together!

About the author

Channon Gray

I'm Channon and yes, it's spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I'm 22 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London. I'm now a Graduate Student, Stationery Addict and all round Life Enthusiast.

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Elinam
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Elinam

Definitely an important topic. And yes, the stigma still exists. Hopefully with posts like yours, we can one day move past them.

Sara
Guest

It’s definitely so important that we end the stigma. There should be no shame in having or speaking about your experiences with a mental health issue. I applaud you for doing your part to make this happen. Thank you for sharing such an important message!

Carrie
Guest

Very important issue that affects everyone and as a mother of three young men I worry not only about their physical health but mental health as well. Pinned

Angela Noel
Guest

Hi Channon,
I agree with you. Too many of us judge what we don’t yet understand. Worse, we don’t even try to understand. Content to sit in our own little lives, we don’t expend the energy to mobilize our empathy for the benefit of others.
I love how you describe yourself as a “life enthusiast.” I feel like the same could be said for me, and I’m glad to know another woman reaching for the good in her own life and encouraging others to do the same.

Rosanna Alicia Design
Guest

Couldn’t agree more – well said Channon, it’s crazy that people still try to avoid the subject of mental health in this day & age! The more we talk about it, the more normal it will be – good on you! Rx

Elena Peters
Guest

I think the whole world is upside down and people are vile because they can be safe behind a screen. Look at any post on Facebook. Even if it is about puppies, someone leaves a nasty remark. People need to learn how to be nice and accepting. And the answer is face to face not screen to screen.

Stefan
Guest

I think there is still a stigma about mental health but it’s definitely getting better. Awareness is helping and I think social media plays both a positive and negative impact on how it’s portrayed depending on who you interact with. Great read!

Judy Martin
Guest

I agree that this is a very serious matter. I have retweeted with #mentalheathmatters as well as the sundayBlogshare hashtag. We need to get this message out to people :-)

Claire Saul
Guest

This is a really worthwhile post, Channon – thanks for aharing on Big Up Your Blog Sunday share. I have pinned etc, but will be sharing on reg feature tomorrow – Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! Will send you a message when post is up. Great to meet you!

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