12.05.17, By Peter Carson
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, a national campaign aimed at removing the stigma around mental health issues and encouraging people to talk about the topic, whether it’s their own experience or to gain more understanding.
The theme of this year’s campaign, delivered by the Mental Health Foundation, is “surviving or thriving”. The campaign is designed not only to address the often unseen afflictions brought about by mental health conditions, but also considers what it actually means to have good mental health. According to a recent report released by the Mental Health Foundation, only 13% of people surveyed consider themselves to be “thriving”, and a huge two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem.
So how can things change?
Our affiliate charity, Mind, has decided to take to social media to tackle the taboo of discussing mental health issues. Sites like Facebook and Twitter serve as an unlikely setting for these conversations, given social media is often credited as having a negative impact on mental health.
In fact, the Office for National Statistics recently found that children who spend three or more hours per school day on social media sites are more than twice as likely to suffer from poor mental health. By taking the conversation online, Mind hopes to connect both sufferers and those who have overcome mental health issues in an effort to shine a light on these hidden illnesses.
Whether online or offline, the message remains the same. It’s only when we to talk about these things that we can begin to shine a light on mental health. We need to remember to follow awareness with action.
If you or someone you know could benefit from speaking to someone, here are the contact details for Mind:
15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 4BQ
T: 020 8519 2122, F: 020 8522 1725