Today is world mental health day

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Today is World Mental Health Day, an annual initiative from the World Federation for Mental Health, first celebrated in 1992. Here at Mid and North Essex Mind we’re using the day to launch a campaign encouraging people to communicate more openly and to reach out to others in their lives.

So we want you to give people a peace of mind by giving them a piece of your mind. Now that might sound a little difficult; giving someone a piece of your mind is not usually seen as a positive thing but we’re turning it on its head. We want everyone to talk more openly, to tell each other when there’s something wrong, to ask after friends or colleagues if they’re worried about them and to tell people what they mean to them.

The more people talk, the more we can start to tackle the stigma around mental health. Imagine being stuck in a ditch after a car accident and being told the ambulance will take weeks or months to come. That’s the sort of wait people experiencing mental health problems are facing. We don’t accept this with our physical health so why is it ok with mental health?

1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Men remain more than three times more likely to take their own lives than women across the UK and Republic of Ireland. The causes of suicide are complex but it is preventable, not inevitable. We need to raise awareness of the issues, reduce stigma and encourage people to seek help before they reach a crisis point. And that’s why we’re encouraging people to talk this October.

What can you do? It’s simple. Share a piece of your mind by talking. Reach out if you’re feeling stressed, depressed or anxious. Ask someone how they’re really doing if you think something’s not ok with them. Express gratitude to people in your life, tell them why you appreciate them and what you love about them and brighten their day. Be kind to strangers. If 1 in 4 people every year experience problems with their mental health then chances are that’s someone you’ll come across in your day to day life.

For those of you that like a bit of social media keep an eye out on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the rest of October – we’ll have lots of videos and posts for you to interact with as well as a challenge for you to undertake to spread the word. We can be found under @mnessexmind for all of our social media pages. Keep talking!