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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Its been a busy week, its been flipping busy. I am tired mentally and physically, but its been great.

This week I have been out and about talking about mental health and Mind support/ services. More importantly than that I have listened to other people talk about their thoughts and experiences around mental health.

It has been awesome to have the opportunity to go out and talk openly to people about mental health and to have so many people interact with us.

Yes, there have been some people that look over but don't want to approach us. But they have seen us and hopefully they have gone away and looked us up online. Thats a success for both of us.

It has also been nice to not have to 'sell' something, being there for the public good and helping to make people feel comfortable to approach you is so important I think. Just saying hi, hello, do you have any questions is so much more my way than overtly pushing conversation or material on people.

I think it has been interesting to see how many people want to talk to. They want that one to one space, or attention to talk about their experience and their feelings.

That is what this week has been about for me. Starting conversations, providing and space/ environment where people feel happy and comfortable to talk about their experiences.

It has also been interesting to hear what people seem to be affected by . This week there have been some themes that were noticeable:

  • Not wanting to reveal everything for fear of being hospitalised or "locked up"

  • Concerns from parents about their children's mental health (ages 10 - 16)

  • Struggling with low mood

  • Struggling with anxiety

  • Previous suicidal thoughts

  • LGBT respect and acknowledgement

I think its important to identify what 'real people' are struggling with and affected by. Otherwise its all too easy to get caught up in the things you think are important. These are definitely areas I want to look into further to see how we can help the local communities.

I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to talk to people this week as part of my workplaces involvement in Mental Health Awareness Week. It has been great to see some of the other things going on this week too, including:

  • The mental health minute on over 300 radio stations

  • Time to Change Young Champions applications

  • Trigger Publishing book promotion

  • STOP Suicide's continuing campaign

  • Havant Police sharing Officers experience of mental health illness

  • No Limits focusing on young peoples mental health

  • Kay's 'Warrior' tee collaboration with Innerstand (I already have my tee)

  • Plus, all the awesome stuff my fellow MH Bloggers are involved with this week.

Theres been some other cool things this week too, with the opening of Charlotte's Photography Studio in Portsmouth and I'm mega excited for this weekends Redhead Festival in Camden.

It has been a great week, its been hard at times to hear stories about peoples struggles. But it has been so important, and to some extent its hard to hear because we are not used to it... yet. The more we talk the more we can make talking about mental health (illness and wellbeing) something we do everyday.

I could write a whole post on my annoyance with the assumed and intended use of 'mental health' when someone actually means mental health illness, but I will hold back, for now.

Its been a great week, and lets keep talking.

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