Mental Health Week – An Opinion

Author Note: This article is part of a collection from the previously lost Bordering Bears website, and has thus been re-uploaded and archived.

As mental health becomes more prevalent and, dare I say it, accepted in society, more is being done to understand and appreciate these difficult conditions.

Each year, since 2001, the UK has had a designated week to raise awareness. Things have come a long way since the first UK law regarding mental health: The Madhouses Act of 1774.

Now, rather than locking people up and putting them through unspeakable torture, mental health care has come a long way.

Yet not far enough.

This year’s theme is kindness.

Kindness is something that is so vital in the world, regardless of whether you have a mental health condition or not.

That doesn’t mean doing something to get something in return.

It’s looking after someone who needs help.
It’s doing the right thing.
It’s showing compassion and empathy.

Kindness can be difficult though. It can be hard to let go of past grudges, trust me, I know.

It can also be used for negative purposes, such as with judgement.

One example of this is in the current lockdown. Many people are saying we should band together to support local grocers, butchers, shops etc rather than big corporations.
Yet, these are often more expensive so some people can’t.
Insert judgements here.

Kindness, in it’s truest form, needs to be seen without stigma or judgement.

I implore you, each day, to try to do something, anything, that is good and right. Not for praise, money, internet fame or recognition. Do it simply because you can. Big or small.

On the other side of things, I do wonder about mental health awareness. I find it very difficult seeing people preaching about mental health support when these are the same people who broke my mind.
I’m glad they grew up, but it does feel hypocritical.

Likewise, I feel that, for all the government talks about mental health and helping people, NOT ENOUGH IS BEING DONE.

When people are ending their lives to escape poverty or debt, that shows it ISN’T ENOUGH.

When a person has waited over a YEAR for support, that shows it ISN’T ENOUGH.

When the only time support is given is following a SERIOUS suicide attempt, that shows it ISN’T ENOUGH.

Awareness is good. Highlighting conditions is great. Promoting ways to aid your mental health is fantastic.

However, we aren’t all psychiatrists. We cannot always get better with a tablet and some fresh air.

Sometimes we need more, and THAT is where the system is failing.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be putting opinions on here, let me know if you feel I’m out of line saying this, but maybe rather than the government patting themselves on the back and paying themselves yet another wage increase, maybe, just maybe, they should stick more money into the NHS for support and nurse wages.

Nurses are seriously overworked and underpaid for all that they do and have to deal with.
Services are beyond breaking point. Look at the wait times for mental health support.
The NHS is an amazing resource that is often taken for granted, and certainly under-funded.
They need to be doing something to help these services.

Or, maybe, they’ll just have us outside clapping like trained monkeys for that too, without doing anything to actually aid the NHS and the people.

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