Jackie Smith has kindly contributed the blog for this weekend, for which I am grateful. She focuses our thoughts on mental health. Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Day.
“We all have mental health and physical health, and sometimes our mental health and physical health are good, but sometimes not so good. For instance in any one year 1 in 4 of us will experience some form of mental ill health. With whatever form of illness we suffer, be it physical or mental, we have the right to expect to be treated with respect by professionals, family and friends alike.
Every year, World Mental Health Day focuses on a specific theme relating to mental health and this year the theme is ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.
Why Dignity? Well, sadly all too often people with a mental health illness, and their family and carers, find they are met with stigma, discrimination and intolerance. As a carer I have seen this happen.
Research suggests the stigma associated with mental illness contributes towards the fact that some people do not seek help and treatment, and indeed it can also have an effect on the treatment itself, impeding recovery.
What can we do to help?
There is nothing dignified in subjecting people with any illness, mental and/or physical to stigma – so let’s get it into the open, remove the stigma and lack of understanding by sharing stories, spreading public awareness of the nature of mental illness, considering signing up for a Mental Health First Aid course, and working towards changing social attitudes.
People with mental illnesses can and do recover given the right treatment, support and attitudes, and lead successful, meaningful and fulfilled lives.
Who was it who said ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’? (John 10:10)
I believe that means everyone – so together, let’s end stigma and treat everyone with Dignity.
The photo shows bright yellow sunflowers, a universal symbol of hope.”