1. As most of us will be aware, the British Red Cross has declared the NHS as being in a “humanitarian crisis”. Now, whether that exact wording really hits the nail on the head is neither here nor there but, what is undeniable, the NHS is struggling like never before.
This struggle is epitomized in its dealing of mental health issues - specifically with regards to under 30’s, the age bracket of which 75% of diagnoses come from.
So, I’m gonna talk about my experiences but this isn’t really about me, it’s merely serving to highlight the problems faced up and down the country.
Every year, almost 7,000 people commit suicide in the United Kingdom - a number that is on the up. Now, whilst reasons for suicide are vast and wide, a key factor in the majority of cases is that of an underlying mental health issue; something which, despite Government pledges, sees its funding cut year on year.
The issue society is facing, in general, is that oftentimes people don’t know how to broach the topic of mental health and, increasingly, those affected also don’t know how to go about getting help.
About 16 months ago, my GP referred to me to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), yet it was 13 months until I received an actual appointment.
During that time, I tried to kill myself twice but I didn’t tell anyone about it for a long time. I think the primary reason for not saying anything was well, I didn’t really want to cause a fuss but, also, it’s hard to drop it into a conversation.
Granted, that is very much the function of a doctor but, at the end of the day, it’s still a relative stranger in front of you.
The thing about conditions like these is that, despite the fact that anyone can be affected by them, there is a very real stereotype surrounding how they should act and what they should look like.
You know, the whole, dresses in black, has a funny fringe and listens to bands like Weezer (I had to google them).
But that’s simply not the case, take me for example! If you asked people to describe me, I suspect depressed would be pretty low on their list.
Bubbly? Like a can of coke.
Funny? Eh, depends who you ask.
Loves Little Mix? ABSOLUTELY!!
“Won’t stop talking”? Included on my school reports more times than you could imagine.
Like I said earlier, the issue is not helped by the fact that over ½ of NHS Trusts are having their mental health budgets slashed, despite claims of increased investment.
Around ¼ of us will suffer from a mental health condition in our lives - whether it’s for 3 months or constantly in the background - and this number is increasingly alarmingly in today’s youth, the under 30. So, it leaves the question of why the government don’t do more to help still hanging in the air.
Let’s be honest, pain is inevitable in life, as is failure but what counts is how we bounce back - that will define us.
None of us are the same, that’s just not a thing but we are all connected in the sense that we will all suffer from a sense of failure in our lives.
It’ll hurt in different places and we’ll be broken by different things but, the feeling is the same.
We’ll lose hope, drag our head down, shut ourselves away from the world.
What unites us is our common imperfection in the strive for greatness and, yet, that very same thing is one which we will never admit.
All anyone wants is validation but not everyone will find it, what matters not is the value that others prescribe to us rather our own feeling of self worth.
But when you struggle to find that, you begin to lose grip; you focus on the negativity around you and the further to the edge you get, the harder it is to hold on.
So, what should we do?
Well, obviously, it’s different for everyone and I can’t be like, this is what you have to do because not everything works for everyone.
But, simple as it sounds, you’ve just got to speak to someone. Whether it’s your best friend, or just some doctor you’ve met for the first time.
Get it off your chest and it’s not all going to suddenly go away but it will help; I suspect this is one of the only times when that age old adage of “a problem shared is a problem halved” actually has any real bearing.
More importantly, know who your friends are because they will have your back when you feel as though it’s all going wrong.
Hope over despair, love over hate, the future will be bright.
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