Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week and it was my intention to write something uplifting and inspiring, but I decided against it. I’m not someone who conforms to the norms just because it’s a certain “week” or because everyone else does it. 

I personally believe that awareness weeks wouldn’t need to exist if we had a more accepting society surrounding challenges and differences. Something we all, as human beings, will have at some point in our lives – some may even be born with those challenges and/or differences. 

Mental health is behind the times when it comes to our overall health – despite the fact that there has long been a huge focus on “health”, mental health is often not mentioned as part of that package. The truth is, we all have mental health, yet how many times have you heard someone use the following phrase?

“I suffer from mental health”. 

a phrase so often heard but not correctly used.

Mental health is not a diagnosis. Just like someone who has broken their leg wouldn’t say “I suffer from physical health.” This mistake of terminology highlights the lack of education and knowledge surrounding mental health and wellbeing. It’s just something that sits silently unless we begin to struggle with it. At this point, we are catapulted into a world where we realise that our brains – the organ that controls our emotional responses, our thoughts, our feelings, and the way we process situations, our reactions to it, and the memories we then store – is an important part of our overall health – our mental health

Mental health is fluid. It is not just the absence of illness. It can be good, it can be not so good, and it can be terrible. It is not just black and white. It is the grayscale, it’s the light and shadow, it’s the extremes and the in between.

The Mental Health Continuum is a wonderful way of illustrating the fluidity of mental health and wellness. 

The Mental Health Continuum

As you can see, there are no absolutes. There are those with diagnoses of mental illness(es) who have a good mental wellbeing and there are those without a diagnosis who have poor mental wellbeing. Mental health is more than just good or bad. The nuances may be subtle and often difficult to understand but I’m a firm believer in sharing lived experience to empower others and to educate those who have no experience or knowledge of mental illness. 

We live in a world where one in four people will struggle with their mental health, 25% of the population currently has a diagnosed mental illness – this is why there needs to be more conversation around mental health; not just during awareness days/weeks/months, but every day. 

Love and light, Sammie.

If you have any questions about mental health, we are always happy to help and share our own experiences to further understanding. 

If you have a story to tell, we’ll share your voice on our blog. Get in touch

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