Good morning everyone and Happy Easter! My name’s Kate and I’ve started this blog partly as procrastination from my dissertation… no, no, in all seriousness… I’ve started it because I feel passionate about challenging attitudes towards mental health and emotional wellbeing. A lot of progress has been made in recent years thanks to the likes of mental health awareness charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. You’ve probably heard of campaigns such as Time to Change or Heads together, which is next weekends London Marathon Charity of the Year and is supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. However, the question arises as to whether CHANGE is actually occurring within our culture and among our society. Do we think its okay to not be okay?
Sadly, it seems we still have a long way to go, with 9 out of 10 people who are going through a mental health problem experiencing stigma and discrimination (Time to Change, 2017). Now, I’m just going to stop right there and highlight the words “mental health problem”. Personally, I find this slightly stigmatising in itself. To me, a problem is something negative which needs to be fixed into a positive solution. I also feel that “mental health problem” gives the image of something that is easily noticeable, such as someone going through severe depression who won’t get out of bed or someone who has schizophrenia and is experiencing hallucinations and hearing voices. It’s for this reason that I like to talk about mental health AND emotional wellbeing, which I pretty much see as the same thing.
I certainly don’t think mental health is a dirty word, however, I feel people may be more open to and find it easier to relate to their emotional wellbeing and how this is something that we can ALL struggle with in our lives. We’re not robots. We’re not made of stone. We are emotional beings who have the ability to feel love, anger, sadness, joy and so much more.
Feeling like a failure cause you didn’t manage to snag that job interview or get into your university of choice? IT’S OKAY. Feeling lonely and hit harder than you expected since your best friend moved away? IT’S OKAY. Feeling insecure about yourself in our current age of instagram perfection and celebrity culture? IT’S OKAY.
It’s okay to not be okay. It doesn’t make you any less of a person. It makes you human. No worse and no better than anyone else. I hope that this blog could reach even just one person who feels different or less than or alone… and give them a glimmer of hope. You are not weak. You are not defective. You can get through this. I believe in you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my first blog post. I’m just going to let you in on a little secret, which is I have absolutely NO idea what I’m doing in regards to having a blog (I honestly didn’t realise how complicated it is; respect to all you bloggers out there). But hey… IT’S OKAY (!) to not be perfect!