Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week which is running until the 22nd and the theme of this years event is 'Relationships.'
Mental Health Awareness Week has been running since 2000 and has prompted discussion on all forms of mental health and how to talk about it and support people who suffer from a variety of conditions.
This year the week is focusing on relationships and the relationships people dealing with mental health issues have with the people in their lives. Mental Health Awareness Week is promoting healthy relationships and the impact they have on ones mind and mental state. They say that stable and healthy relationships are as vital to or health and wellbeing as physical attributes such as getting a good nights sleep, exercising and not smoking and this is something I can definitely get on board with.
Having people in your life who support you, who understand what you are going through, who empathise and who most importantly love you no matter how you're feeling or what kind of day you are having can have a massive impact on your mental health.
This year Mental Health Awareness Week are asking politicians, governments and public bodies to promote good relationships and are asking the public to make a 'Relationship Resolution' to go the extra mile for the people in your life, maintain good relationships and see if we can put in that extra bit of effort that might mean the world to an individual.
I am a big supporter of these types of weeks and organisations because Mental Health is having it's moment. The discussions are opening up and whilst there is still a huge way to go, the start of the conversation is an important step.
How Can I Take Part?
The biggest way in which you can support Mental Health Awareness Week is to come up with your own Relationship Resolution. It could be anything from calling that one family member up more often, to just send a quick text to check up on someone, to make the time to meet up for coffee. I am going to take the time to do something nice for the people in my life, send a card to say I appreciate them, just take time out to support them for supporting me.
Mental Health Awareness Week also have a sign up form so they can send you reminders about your resolution which I think is a fab service because it keeps the conversation going, it keeps the effects of this coming week going and hopefully maintains good relationships.
Share Your Story!
One of the best ways to get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week is to share you story if you have experienced it. Talking about things is a vital part of maintaining good relationships and sharing your stories and experiences keeps the conversation going and raises the profile of mental health so people can be supported.
I very very mildly suffer from anxiety. I have always been a 'nervous' person and as a child that's what I and my family palmed it off as because that's all I thought it was. My parents always thought I'd be a bit of a pushover in later life and milestones like my ability to go to university by myself, live by myself, learn to drive and even things like trekking 4 hours back and forth on the train was a massive achievement for me.
It was only when I went to university and met people with much more severe forms of anxiety, people who were on medication, people who couldn't physically leave the house sometimes that I even know anxiety was a thing. The more I talked to these friends about what they were going through the more and more it sounded like something I was experiencing too. I went to my GP and had a discussion about anxiety which is something I know a lot of people suffering from mental health don't experience.
I don't take anything for the anxiety I have. I don't have regular appointments with my GP or a psychiatrist. I know my limits and I know when it is important for me to push myself to get the most from life and when is too much and I also know not everybody can deal with their mental health this way.
That is why organisations and discussions and Mental Health Awareness Week is so important to support and maintain because those people who do suffer with their mental health need the support and the good relationships that we would expect if it were us.
If you liked this you might also like '11 Ways Of Managing Anxiety At University.'