Shropshire Star comment: Reach out to those in most need
Society at large often continues to fail to recognise the blight mental health issues cause so many children and adults.
A fifth of people will suffer some form of debilitating mental health illness during their lives, while many children feel they are unable to unburden themselves when they have worries.
The situation isn’t as bleak as it once was. We are no longer so cavalier and empathy-free as to tell people to stiffen their back, button their lip and simply grin and bear it. Society has changed for the better and there is a greater recognition that mental health issues can have a profoundly negative effect on the lives of those who suffer.
And yet we are nowhere near where we ought to be. Too many people suffer in silence, those who need access to support services often find it difficult or impossible to obtain them and there remains a stigma surrounding mental health.
There have been steps forward in recent times. Campaigns to get men to open up and talk about their problems has been a positive move, for all too frequently men fail to talk about their issues in the way that women do. The work of princes Harry and William has also been powerful and influential. The Royal Family remains enormously important and their intervention has encouraged some who might have been afraid to talk to seek help and support.
Talking about problems is often the best therapy so it must be welcomed that the issue of anxiety and depression is being raised for World Mental Health Day.
What is World Mental Health Day?
- World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Source - Wikipedia
- Need help?
- Help and advice for those having a mental health crisis is available from a number of agencies in Shropshire.
- Shropshire Mind - 01743 368647 or shropshiremind.org
- Samaritans - 116 123 or samaritans.org
- Access Service for Adult Mental Health - 03001 240365
Speak to any emergency services worker and they will tell you that some of the biggest issues they face day-to-day are linked with mental health. It can have a crippling effect on an individual and have wide-ranging repercussions. Talk to any low paid worker about their inability to pay the rent, meet debt repayments or escape the fog of anxiety that poverty brings and one will understand just how crippling it can be.
The black dog of depression afflicts many and mental health is an issue that we must do more about.
Work, a brittle economy, social media, relationship breakdowns and other issues place us under increased pressure. Sensible advice is being offered today that we should all welcome. We must reach out to those who need us most.