Mental Health Awareness Week

This week (16-22 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week. Quashing the stigma attached to mental health patients is so important to me, so it felt only right to write a short post talking about mental health on my blog, something that I’m passionate about and something that has affected me in my own personal life. Today I wanted to talk about the chosen theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week: relationships.

The Mental Health Foundation’s aim is to lobby national governments, public bodies and employers to help tackle the barriers of building strong relationship foundations, as the relationships we have with other people are exceptionally important to our mental wellbeing. Good relationships between individuals and within communities are as important to our health as other factors including the amount of exercise we do and what we eat.
I have seen first hand how beneficial having solid, healthy relationships can be to your self-esteem and general wellbeing. In just over a year, I feel like I have grown and developed as a person. I was diagnosed with anxiety and mild depression last March, and I’m delighted that a year on I can say that I’m feeling a lot better about life. I’m not fully fixed, that’s for certain. I have panic attacks at times, and still have down days, but on the whole I have generally felt a lot more able to cope with all situations, more confident in myself and less worried about tomorrow.
I wouldn’t have felt nearly as okay going through CBT last year and dealing with the negative thoughts and feelings since I finished CBT if I had to go through it all alone. If it wasn’t for the lovely community of people who surround me: family members, colleagues, friends and, of course, my wonderful boyfriend, I highly doubt I’d be nearly as happy as I am now.
For anyone struggling, feeling sad or alone: speak to someone and things do eventually get better. A parent, teacher, colleague or friend, or a doctor if you feel you have no one else – communication has been key to my healing.
To find out more information on Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk and get involved in the conversation by tweeting using #MHAW16.
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