Posted in Advocacy, Mental Health

10 Reminders for Mental Health Week

This week is mental health awareness week here in the UK, and it’s mental health awareness month in the USA. Therefore you’re likely to see a lot of information – and misinformation! – floating around. A lot of people making gestures towards mental health, and hollow gestures too. I’m obviously a mental health advocate all year round, and I’m also neurodiverse, mentally ill, and disabled all year round. So it’s not just a week for me, and in fact this week can be difficult for me because instead of showing me how far we’ve come it becomes glaringly obvious to me how far we still have to travel. It’s frustrating to see people posting hotline numbers, empty phrases, and self care tips without even hinting at the deep issues surrounding mental health. To be clear, I don’t blame individuals, it just reminds me how frustrated I am with the system.

So today here are 10 reminders of things you might not be hearing so much this mental health week that we still need to keep in mind:

1. The mental health system is failing, and inherently linked with the criminalisation of mental illness. You cannot simply fund a broken system

2. Psychiatry is used to uphold what society deems as acceptable

3. There is a lot of psychiatric abuse, which continues to go unknown by many. We must listen to psych survivors, who have been systematically silenced for years

4. Yes we all have mental health, and that is very important. But choosing to focus on the palatable narrative that goes along with ‘we all have mental health’ tends to ignore the chronically mentally ill, mad, and ostracised. Essentially, if you are talking about mental health you also need to talk about the parts that aren’t as easily digestible

5. The goal of healing should not be productivity

6. We cannot stick a bandaid on the mental health crisis without addressing the deep underlying socioeconomic problems in this country

7. We cannot heal in a vacuum. Community is needed for good mental health

8. This is actually a life or death issue for many people. We don’t have to get dragged down in the sadness of that all the time, but it is important to remember the gravity of it

9. If everyone needs therapy then society is sick, not each individual

10. Diagnosis and/or medication do not work for everyone

Thanks for reading! Sending so much love and support to you all today xxx