Thursday, 1 February 2018

Why is it Time to Talk?

1st of February marks an important day in the mental health world, Time to Talk. I wanted to explore why it is important to talk and the impact that a conversation can have. I was 16 when I had my first proper conversation about my mental health. I found my head of year at school, someone with whom I had created quite a bond and I shared that I was self harming. A secret that I had been carrying on my skin and heavily on my shoulders, was taken off me as I no longer needed to guard this secret so tightly. From that day on there were several conversations that saved me over the years. Some where in the form of emails, a Skype call or a face to face conversation. Each conversation was more important than words can describe. 

I took to twitter and asked why is it Time to Talk? How did a conversation impact you? Here is what 12 individuals had to say. 

"Speaking out is so important, in whatever capacity you choose to do so. When first diagnosed, I hadn't even heard of anxiety, because nobody really talked about it. Now though, we're in a movement where people are beginning to speak out and explain how they're feeling which allows other people to learn that they aren' the only one and it isn't the end of the world. I speak openly and freely on an identity restricted account to ensure I feel comfortable to do so, and the response is incredible. I have people from all over the world and all walks of life messaging me to tell me that a certain blog post has helped them to seek help, or a tweet has inspired them to think differently. Mental health is no longer as taboo, and the more we  talk about it the more we can eradicate the stigma" -  Gary ¦ 31

"I've been told "don't rock the boat" "shhh" and "ladies don't talk about that sort of thing" many times throughout my life, enough! The "don't be a baby" mentality is ridiculous, crying doesn't make you weak, discussion doesn't make you weak or crazy and neither does utilising your voice for the betterment of yourself or others. I talk because I am able to and many aren't. I talk to five a voice to the voiceless, I push myself and use what I have to make changes to the problems I see. Its time to keep talking. " Erika ¦ 30

"Its Time To Talk. There are 450 million people worldwide that deal with mental illness...those people should not feel isolated. It is okay to not be okay. This time a year ago in 2017 I was spending most o my days in bed, feeling dreadfully alone because of my anxiety, depression and emetophobia. I barely spoke to my family, I avoided every social situation, I was just surviving. It was only when I joined Twitter on a whim, that I managed to see I really was not alone. It's now 2018 and my life has changed drastically for the better. If you'd have told me that in a years time I would be being completely open about my mental health via YouTube & have a wonderful group of supportive friends - I would have told you you were having a laugh. A conversation can change a life. You can do this! There's a whole community rooting for you" Beth ¦ 22

"Talking about mental health is vital, it is an integral part of life - we all have mental health, with 1 in 4 of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year. It wasn't really until I was 20 when I began volunteering with Time to Change that I actually started to speak more openly about my mental health and was honest with my friends and family, I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but had always remained quiet about it, I felt ashamed. I was supposed to be the strong one, the glue holding people together. I've come to realise there is absolutely nothing shameful about being ill, you'd never be ashamed to say you'd broken your leg, I've learnt that it's okay not to be okay, and actually live with my mental illness, rather than fighting against it. It has opened my eyes to a world of love and support that I never imagined could have existed and for those people in my life I am eternally grateful." Jodie ¦ 22

"Talking about my mental health has made it so much easier for me to accept how I feel and that that's okay. The acceptance and support from others is so powerful. It's also made me more likely to reach out and admit when i'm struggling. The other side is how amazing it feels when you find out that by you sharing, you've helped someone else feel better and less alone. There's just so much benefit to being able to be open with each other." Hannah ¦ 26

"Through talking I realised that I was a survivor, on a healing path - albeit slow and tediously non-linear, I learned to blog and to talk openly - not only about my past traumas but also their long lasting effects and my struggles with mental illness. Talking about mental health with friends online has helped me to feel that I belong somewhere and wasn't alone to struggle anymore. I wasn't suffering in silence and I was receiving support, understanding and sometimes advice" Lulu ¦ 42

"Talking about mental health has opened my eyes to so much and given me a greater understanding of myself and others. It has helped me develop some of the best friendships in life as well as feel like I belong somewhere for the first time in my life. Opening up about my own struggles has helped those around me understand who I am as a person and strengthened relationships. It's also meant they have felt able to be more supportive of friends who have opened up to me about their own struggles. It's time to talk because we need people to know that having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and that we all have mental health, be that good or bad." Jo ¦ 28

"Talking about my mental health after nearly 10 years of silence has transformed me in the most positive way. I accept myself, I am much more confident and I have grown as a person. I've realised that I am not alone with my mental health and that my voice has the power to help others speak up too. It's #TimetoTalk"  Rob

"For too long, millions of us have been living in the metaphorical darkness of Mental Illness, Often too afraid to speak up and seek help, we have struggled on. But not anymore! It's time we start listening to those who have experienced Mental Health issues in order to understand just how debilitating it can be. I have challenged myself more to be more open to those around me and speak up about what I'm thinking and feeling. People will listen, be patient and try to understand as best they can. Take small steps when talking about mental health. It's important to make sure you're comfortable to take that step to talk. It's time to talk! Lets carry on ending the stigma around Mental Health." Laura ¦ 22

"Just 12 months ago I was in a very different place mentally. Depression and anxiety ruled most of my waking moments, I didn't understand what I was dealing with, and I also thought I was the only person feeling the way I was. It was only when I finally opened up to my GP and was referred to counselling that I began to improve, because I talked about what was going on with my mind. It wasn't easy, opening up about how I really felt, but looking back now -it was a turning point for me and my mental health, and it did get easier from then on. Talking is so important, be it to a friend, relative, colleague or health professional, whatever you do don't keep it all bottled up inside."
  Kate ¦27

"Its time to talk! Mental health has had a massive stigma attached to it for too long. Too many people hae suffered when all they could have done was talk about it, after all a problem shared is a problem halved. Mental health is seen as a bad thing when in fact it's more common than people realise. Everyone will be affected by it at some point in their lives. I've personally suffered for 8 years with mental health issues when I lost both parents. For the 5 years after i was just existing. Only in the last 3 years when I've felt able to talk about it have I started to live my life again! I passed my driving test,got a car, bought a house and progressed at work. Found a career path and mentally made myself who I am today. I am stronger and wiser, it's time to talk!" Lindsey ¦ 33

"Its time to talk because there are too many people suffering as a result of mental illness and  its time that we reach out to help one another, this time in a non judgemental and supportive way and be ready to listen to our friends, classmates, family, anyone. We all deserve to live a happy and healthy life and this is why it is time that we create a safe space for everyone to talk about their mental health. Talking about my mental health to supportive people has impacted me and helped my mental health because my problems no matter how small or big they may seem are made to feel ever a little better when I share them with those I trust because I can feel supported and getting how i'm feeling out in the open." Kate ¦ 18

1 comment :

  1. Excellent work! Happy to have been apart of it. <3💪🏻<3