IT’S HERE! No not Christmas. Save the bells, tinsel and TV related punch ups for another few months…. It’s World Mental Health Day! 🙂 How incredible is that sentence? A whole 24 hours dedicated to mental health! It’s a step in the right direction for awareness. Someday I hope that we won’t need it, because the world will accept that having a brain = mental health. But for now, I’m just thankful that so many people are working hard for the cause.
This year I’d like to highlight one in particular. Young Minds and their Hello Yellow campaign. #Helloyellow
Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression and on average, three children in every classroom in the UK have a diagnosable mental health disorder. We want to put a spotlight on young people’s mental health and get everyone joining in on the conversation.
So join us on World Mental Health Day by wearing something yellow and donating £1 to YoungMinds. It could be a tie, t-shirt or even lipstick – if you’re feeling daring. Take a photo of you and your mates wearing yellow, tag @YoungMindsUK and share our #HelloYellow tips for looking after your mental health. – Young Minds
I must admit, I only discovered Young Minds six months ago. Yet I am now an avid supporter. How different things might’ve been if they were established during my time at school.
When I was twelve years old mental health was something ‘weirdos’ and ‘nutters’ had. Despite knowing deep down that something was wrong I didn’t say a word, because I was frightened of being labelled. It went on for years. Blushing constantly, sweating and sleepless nights worrying about everything.. from the end of the world (literally) to how much padding l should wear in my bra. I’ve lost count of how many lessons I spent rigid with fear that the teacher might ask me a question. Not because I wouldn’t know the answer, it was the idea of having attention drawn my way… all eyes on me was my worst nightmare. Sometimes I’d hold my breath to restrict movement, like prey sensing danger. I’ve never felt so alone. In Physics class I’d pretend to feel sick and spend the entire lesson locked in the toilets. Why? Because the seating was arranged so that students were across from one another. I couldn’t cope with eye contact, I rather sit facing a wall with “Sian is a bitch” scrawled in eyeliner and the stench of stale urine.
I mourn for that girl now. Feeling so alone in a world full of smiling faces is no way to live. F**k that.
What would I have said to her now:
- You have nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not a freak, you’re suffering from social anxiety disorder and it can be managed. You don’t have to put up with this all by yourself.
- Tell someone. They won’t react how you expect.
- The menacing thoughts in your head are all lies, bullshit even. You’ll get stronger in time and learn how to master them.
- Don’t worry about your boobs, they’ll come in when you reach seventeen.
- Things might feel hopeless now, but thanks to so many mental health charities it will get better. I promise.
So if you find yourself with an extra £1 today, don’t spend it on a coffee or something you don’t really need. Give it to #HelloYellow and aid them in their quest to support all young people.
Ps – I’ve finally got the Youtube channel in a semi decent state. More videos to follow. Subscribe here!