Mental health, everyone knows what it is and everyone suffers with it whether mildly or majorly but not many people can spot it. Why? Because those who are suffering the most are so used to putting on a brave face and don’t want to burden others with their problems. It may seem easy from the outside looking in to seek help, but it truly is one of those things where everyone experience is different and it should be treated as such.
My experience with mental health
My own battle with mental health were some of the darkest times I’ve been through and I learned that the voice in your head can be your worst enemy. It’s not just the feeling down which was the problem, it was everything else that comes with it; sleepless nights, constant worry, feeling worthless, no appetite just to mention a few. All of this I believe stemmed from two situations in my life;
- When I was 11, I was playing golf with my cousin and her friends and one of her friends sliced a driver. I remember it vividly, the ball flying at my head, I tried to duck but I couldn’t do it fast enough and the next thing I feel is a warm liquid running down my face which lead me to develop epilepsy later in life.
- The other is my family history of bad backs I can’t remember the last time I haven’t been in some sort of pain. Sometime’s it’s only slight but it constantly eats away my mental health which took me to the edge two years ago.
Mental health facts and figures
- In 2019, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales, that’s around 16 suicides every day which is 321 more compared to 2018.
- Suicide rates in under-25s have increased by 93.8% since 2012, it’s now at it’s highest ever!
- Overall, men accounted for three-quarters of UK deaths by suicide in 2018.
- There’s a notable increase in mental health problems in men and women aged 55 to 64.
- 1 in 6 adults has experienced a ‘common mental disorder’ like depression or anxiety in the last week.
- 1 in 8 children aged 5 to 19 are estimated to have at least one mental health problem.
We’re very concerned that not only adults but also children as young as 5 can be plagued by mental health problems.
WAIT – you can help!
Sometimes a simple ‘hello, how are you?’ can be enough to make the difference between life and death. We’re all guilty of it at sometimes but you should never judge someone without knowing their story! The acronym WAIT is a really good way to remember how you can support someone who may be suicidal. It stands for:
Watch out for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour
- e.g. social withdrawal, excessive quietness, irritability, uncharacteristic outburst, talking about death or suicide
Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?”
- Asking about suicide does not encourage it, nor does it lead a person to start thinking about it; in fact, it may help prevent it, and can start a potentially life-saving conversation.
It will pass – assure your loved on that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass with time.
Talk to others – encourage your loved one to seek help from a GP or health professional.
Don’t forget about yourself!
If you’re noticing yourself having suicidal thoughts and are feeling like ending your life, call 999 or go to A&E. They will be more than happy to help you out!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I really do hope you’ll find it helpful in the future.