Mental Health Awareness Week is here. In recent years, society has talked about mental health more and more, and it seems that most people are now aware of what it is and how it’s just as important as physical health. Schools, social media, workplaces, universities, you name it! Everyone is talking about it which is great. The more we talk about mental health, the more we will understand what it means for us and how we can support ourselves and each other.
Now, there might be some people who are thinking ‘Do we really need an awareness week when loads of people talk about it anyway?’, and the answer is yes! If we don’t talk about it, more people will suffer in silence. Talking about mental health can normalise the experience and help people to know they aren’t alone, so it’s crucial that we still raise awareness. Although mental health seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues right now, there are plenty of reasons why we still need it.
3 Reasons Why Mental Health Awareness Week is Still Important
People of colour still struggle to be taken seriously
For people of colour, there is a lot of stigma attached to mental health in their community. You only have to look at how Meghan Markle was attacked by the media to know that it can be so much harder for people from marginalised groups to speak out about mental health.
The fact that we are living in a society where a woman of colour, like Meghan Markle, will speak out about their mental health struggles and be questioned and targeted for it shows us that we still need to raise awareness of mental health. Because of these negative attitudes, too many people feel ashamed and alone in the world, but it doesn’t have to be like that. We all have a part to play, and having Mental Health Awareness Week is a good reminder of that.
LGBTQ+ people still face a lot fear of discrimination when reaching out for help
LGBTQ+ people experience a lot of discrimination just for being who they are, and it can be hard to reach out to health professionals for support.
There can be fear around the health workers not understanding the problems that are unique to the LGBTQ+ community. There could also be fear around the health professionals discriminating because of their sexual or gender identity which together, make it much harder to seek help.
Also, for LGBTQ+ people who are not out and struggling with mental health, seeking help might mean having to come out, so you can imagine that most of them don’t bother speaking about it which we totally understand.
The pandemic has caused one of the biggest mental health crises in history
Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has put us all through a lot of stress. Life has been turned upside down for so many. People have lost loved ones, we haven’t been able to see friends and family as much, or at all, people haven’t been able to go to school, and so much more.
We have gone through a lot together which has taken its toll on our mental health, and now more than ever, we need to be talking about our struggles and getting the help we need. If we don’t, we could end up keeping it all in and actually struggle more when we don’t need to. We can all be there for each other.
So, yes, we definitely still need Mental Health Awareness Week. By talking about our mental health, we begin to realise that we are not alone, and that there are others out there going through similar things. Also, speaking out helps you to get the help you need. The more we talk, the more we help, and the more we survive. We can do this together.
For help with your mental health, check out our dedicated hub here.