Over the last month or so, Mental Health UK and Lloyd’s Bank have partnered up for an advertising campaign to promote speaking up about mental health. 1 in 4 of the UK population suffer from mental health issues every single year. That is a lot of people suffering in silence.The campaign included people writing the hashtag #gettheinsideout on a post it, sticking on their head, and taking a selfie to post Instagram or other social media sites. It’s aim is to get people talking, which is always a good thing.
Now, I don’t really like taking pictures of myself, so I didn’t know how to ‘take part’. I feel that speaking about mental health is very important, and that it really does need to stop being this thing, that people hide away. Because I write a lot about my mental health on here, I decided that this would be the perfect place to write about the campaign, and highlight it to people who may not know it exists.
I suffered in silence with depression for a very long time. I only sought medical advice from my GP, when I was in my mid-20s. I was put on medication, and really struggled. I went to the GP because I was scared. I had started punishing myself with food, pretending it was control, when I scoffed down 5 packets of crisps in a row. I had also started thinking that life wasn’t worth it. Life was a big problem, and I cried on the phone to Samaritans on more than one occasion. I knew I needed help, but I was to embarrassed to speak to anyone in person. Eventually the people at Samaritans convinced me to contact my GP, to see someone. I actually dodged my first appointment, claiming I forgot, but I tried again and stuck to the appointment. It was actually nice to have someone listen and not make me feel guilty about how I was thinking. I was put on some anti-depressants and given some places to turn to.
You may not feel like talking helps, I still struggle with it. But there are other ways that you can express how you are feeling. I write my feelings, because it is easier for me. What is important, is realising that you are not at fault. It is something in your brain, but it doesn’t make you any less of a person. When you speak to people, you will be surprised at how many people will say they feel the same. You are not on your own, and whether you call a helpline, write it out or speak to a friend, you will always find support somewhere. And if someone turns to you, listen and be there. Sometimes that is all that is needed.
Samaritans- 116 123
NHS 24- 111
Breathing Space- 0800 83 85 87
SANE- 0300 304 7000