Friday 10 October 2014

World Mental Health Day

Hi everyone! As some of you may know, today is World Mental Health Day. Zoella has just become an ambassador for MIND, a mental health charity, and they have come up with the fantastic idea of the little red button.

Basically, you wear a red button to show either that you yourself have anxiety or another mental illness, that you know someone who suffers, or that you are supporting anyone who may suffer. I think this a great way to break down the stigma against mental health, and show anyone who feels like they can't speak out about their issues, that there are always people there available to talk. The hashtag for this campaign is the #Don'tPanicButton.

Mental illness is a really big issue for many people in today's society. The problem is the stigma that surrounds it. Just the other day I heard someone say they didn't understand a person's struggle with a mental illness because "they seem to have everything they want." Having a mental illness isn't something that is chosen, it is something in your mind that you can't change (but you can train your mind to cope with it). We need to get everyone involved with campaigns like this, to change the common thoughts about mental illness and to be fully supportive of every single sufferer. Anxiety is something that I have struggled a lot with in the past, although fortunately I have learned to control it and feel much better about myself than I did this same time last year. Just because it isn't as big a part of my life as it was, doesn't mean that I don't still feel passionate about it. A mental illness can be very scary, especially when the people around you don't understand, and don't even try to make an effort to. Even if we don't fully know what is going on in another person's mind, it doesn't make it any less real, or any less of a problem. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and statistics show that a good proportion of deaths in the UK stem from mental illness. It isn't an issue that will go away if we ignore it, and we shouldn't treat any sufferer with disrespect. A problem is a problem, and it shouldn't matter whether it is a physical or mental one. We have a duty to respect and care for anyone who is struggling.

Please support this campaign and reach out to those who are struggling to cope with something that they can't even understand themselves. Sometimes the little things are the best ways to show that you care.

5 tips that I use when I am feeling anxious:
1. Distance yourself from the situation, and find a quiet place to calm your breathing.
2. Read. Anything.
3. Make a list of everything that makes you happy.
4. Focus on your surroundings, and not what is going on inside your head (focus on colours, sounds etc)
5. Remember, this feeling will NOT last forever.

Emily xoxo

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