The World Health Organisation has set the theme this year as ‘Mental health is a universal human right‘.
What does this mean to you? As we reflect on our lifetime if we are honest there have been moments when we would not have wanted to pry when others look in pain, or be too fearful to hear the troubles of others, or we are too busy to listen.
Whatever the reason, it does not make you a bad person, it makes you human.
As we reflect on those moments, can you recall when you saw someone you care about deteriorate in front of your eyes? If you have, you have witnessed the sadness in their soul. It is heartbreaking.
Have you spent time with someone who has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? You may have witnessed a relatively normal conversation which became a significant trigger of anxiety and even panic for those who have experienced trauma.
Have you spent many a night out with a group of friends, only for one of them ended their pain when they got home, without reaching out to anyone?
We need to be braver when those moments happen. We must continue to acknowledge that mental health is just as important as physical health.
Mind.org.uk tell us that:
- 1 in 5 people have suicidal thoughts
- 1 in 14 people self-harm
- 1 in 15 people attempt suicide.
These are some quite heart-wrenching figures.
One in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.
Let’s facilitate change. Look around you right now. One of the people in your vision right now is likely to experience a mental health issue.
We should all want to improve our knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect mental health; our own, our friends’, our family’s, our colleagues’ and those that we haven’t met yet.
So what can you do about it?
If we all move one grain of sand the world will never be the same again.
The grains of sand to embed change are supported by the Law: The Human Rights Act 1988 Article 14: Protection from discrimination. It is illegal to discriminate on a wide range of grounds including ‘sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status’.
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.
This however, is not enough. We must each want to pride ourselves that we were the people who made a difference for now, and for future generations.
Let’s educate, let’s discuss, and let’s be open to the fact that life can be hard sometimes. If you share how you are feeling, there is every likelihood that others will too.
Let’s promote and protect mental health for all.