This week has been mental health week. I love an awareness week, I work in charity so know it’s a chance to get some attention for a cause and raise awareness. Mental health is certainly a subject a lot of people have an experience of so it’s obvious it would have a week dedicated to it!Nowadays mental health issues like depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD and more are no longer the taboos they once were. This is fantastic, it means those that are struggling with issues don’t feel the need to hide or cover those feelings up. People are happier to talk about their issues and ultimately seek the help and support they need. With celebrities like Fearne Cotton, Frankie Bridge, Stacey Solomon, Stephen Fry even Prince Harry all speaking about their personal struggles…I think it’s empowering for many people. It helps them know there are others who struggle; have issues; are feeling down and have low mood. I applaud those people and think it is fantastic that we are living in a culture where people are not made to feel like they are weird, or wrong or like they should just pull themselves together.
However despite all that I have to admit when I saw the stats attached to this years awareness week I felt saddened and concerned for the state of society. This year The Mental Health Foundation found 1 in 8 adults admit to having suicidal thoughts because of how they look. That’s so very sad, suicide is a very serious thing that has such far reaching consequences and something I think no one should ever take lightly. To even think about ending your life because of how you look to me does seem extreme. I feel almost ashamed that we live in a society where so much is hung on what you look like. I certainly have my own body image struggles, I often hate how I look, moan about my fine hair, my fat legs, the wrinkles on my face. I certainly feel down and annoyed but I would never want to take my own life. I guess that is just how you grab the media’s attention though and when you look at more stats it does become clear the majority of people are like me and not so extreme. Around body image: