There are lots of awareness days, weeks and campaigns. In fact, there are even quite a few for mental health.
So, you’d be forgiven for thinking they might be unnecessary. Maybe you think they’re overkill? After all, everywhere you look, you see people talking about their mental health.
Sadly, this isn’t the case. Poor mental health continues to be a major problem that affects so many of us, in so many different ways. Sadly, it continues to ruin lives. It continues to kill people.
It’s become something of a cliché to talk about unprecedented times, or to start communications with ‘since the coronavirus pandemic hit and lockdown began’, but if that’s the case, it’s only because it’s true.
Every single person’s life has changed because of coronavirus. This might be because you’re working differently or it might be because you can’t see your friends or family.
Right now, I am sat at my patio furniture desk, surrounding by devices to keep me connected to colleagues in the office, but I can’t see them. At the same time, my partner is pregnant and will soon (touch wood and taking nothing for granted) give birth to my son.
As many of you will know, this is a nervous and testing time. It’s even harder when friends and family can’t be here to support us as they usually would. I’m nervous that we won’t have the physical support of family when we’ll need it the most.
Each and every one of us is having to adapt to a world that doesn’t feel quite normal. Where things are strange. Where your routine is new. Where even the simplest and most usual of tasks is harder than should be.
This means that even the most resilient of us will have off days. We will feel more stressful and we will feel more anxious. And that’s ok.
Awareness weeks like this one are designed to get people talking about their mental health. They’re designed to help people realise that it’s ok to not feel ok. No one should worry that their poor mental concerns are theirs alone. So many of us are going through or have been through the same things.
Over the course of the week, you’re likely to see lots of hints and tips to enhance your mental health. I won’t create another list of my own. But what I will do is give you my number one tip, which is to talk to someone. Check in with your friends and see how they are. If there is a friend you’ve not seen or not talked to for a while, then reach out to them. They will appreciate it.
Take care and be kind.