A message from our Mental Health First Aider, Sue Smith, during Mental Health Awareness Week:

“Everyone has mental health.

“Some have good mental health, others have not-so-good mental health.

“People who have mental health issues are not mad or strange or weird, they are just like everyone else – they may have more struggles than people who don’t suffer negative or poor mental health. It can be a struggle for them to get out of bed in the mornings, to socialise, to communicate with people and many other things but they are still normal. In fact, some would say they are stronger because every day can be a battle with their own thoughts.

“Mental health can have many different forms such as depression, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed with situations, OCD, to name but a few. It can be caused by many things including peer pressure, work stress, relationship breakdowns, bereavements, pressure of school and exams.. the list goes on.

“As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the topic this year is Kindness, maybe just take a few minutes out of your busy day to check up on family, friends and colleagues, to see if they are OK. If they aren’t, then reassure them it’s OK to not be OK and that there are people they can speak to. This could be family or friends, or if they don’t want to tell people they are close to, there are organisations like the Samaritans that are free and confidential to call and still operating during lockdown. You are never alone 💜 

“Let’s end the stigma of mental health being a bad thing.”