Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Although, we are all more aware of mental health issues, suicide is still a taboo subject, particularly amongst men. Who by nature tend to outwardly put on a brave face, whilst internally they are suffering mental distress. So facilitating awareness through World Suicide Prevention Day is really important.

Something, I have personal experience with! It was in 2001 aged 18/19 that I was diagnosed with depression, whilst I was ’embarrassed by my decline’ and wouldn’t admit I had a ‘problem’ , a specific event led me to booking an appointment with my doctor, during the appointment it become evident that I was suffering from depression and was diagnosed a course of antidepressants. Looking back I believe going to the doctors with my Mum was a big first step in opening up about my struggles and helped me on the road to recovery.

If you don’t acknowledge there is a problem, how can you attempt to fix it?

On a personal note the best ‘medication’ was exercise. I found that a daily walk of 20-30 minutes was a really big help in clearing my mind of any worries and to be outside getting some fresh air was a part of the day that I looked forward to.

As a personal plea, if you are currently experiencing any mental health issues or generally feeling a bit flat; I urge you to reach out and speak to someone, a relative, friend, colleague, health professional or feel free to email me. I will listen, advise and of course it goes without saying I won’t judge you, sometimes it is easier to open up to a stranger because of these reasons.

I really don’t want this post to come across as if it is aimed at ‘just men’, I am speaking from my own personal experience and the people I have come across in my personal/work life. Like any illness, depression and other mental health issues, affect people from a broad range of society for a variety of different reasons, so it is not to say that women don’t have similar issues, but generally they are more open and tend to have a better support network. You know you love a natter over endless cups of tea 🙂

 

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