Today is world mental health day. I had a really rough time 3 months ago – I struggled a lot for a few weeks and honestly thought I didn’t have a future at all. Really pleased that, although I’ll probably never completely heal, these feelings only lasted a short while and I honestly feel like I’m in a much better place now than I was even before a certain life shattering event occurred. But I’ll never forget how truly awful I felt and I know there are people who feel like that every single day, and I have huge respect for all of you.
If you’re struggling with things, talk to people and don’t be ashamed. As Charles Dickens said: “Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are the rain upon the blinding dust of the earth, overlying our hard hearts.” (It’s been a while since I read Great Expectations, so I hope that’s right!).
"If you could ask for anything from one person who you believe could make a difference to mental health in your community, who would you ask and what would you ask for?"
I would actually like to ask anyone who isn’t struggling themselves to check on your friends who are. It’s not difficult to check in on someone and see how they’re holding up, and it can be a really powerful thing for someone who is going through a rough patch.
Samaritans offer a free listening service for anyone who is struggling to cope. There is no age restriction, and you don't have to give them any personal details if you don't want to. You can call them free in the UK on 116 123.
Mindfulness is a useful technique for dealing with anxiety in your day-to-day life. It helps you to stay present in the moment and not retreat into your own mind, where anxiety can take over. Find out more about mindfulness from Mindfulness Scotland.
Habitica is an app which can help you keep on top of your day-to-day responsibilities. By setting and completing small tasks, you can unlock rewards, upgrades and even pets! Mental health challenges can often impact your daily routine, and having a rewarding way of keeping track of your successes can be very helpful.