It takes days like World Mental Health Day to remind me that many people are scared witless of people who are ill, or healing from trauma. We’d hope that people wouldn’t expect someone who had broken their leg to just walk it off, and yet that same attitude seems applied without any sense of irony to so many of us when it comes to mental health. If not dismissive, the reaction is often one of fear, fuelled by media imagery and folklore. We can’t win.
Grrr, and indeed, arghhh.
My disconnect comes from being aware of so many people in my life, between partners and friends, who struggle every day, and yet I still stumble across people who seem shockingly misinformed on a regular basis. It’s not as if the information isn’t out there, and the people getting it wrong are often intelligent individuals – so there sadly continues to be a need for days like today.
Go, read widely, starting with MIND, and listen and talk and engage with the people around you. A huge number people suffer from some form of mental illness at some point in their lives – at least as many who suffer some form of more easily visible physical illness – but because it is invisible, it is often downplayed.
I’d feel upset, if I wasn’t already mad.