Louisa, Social Media Consultant/Mental Health Advocate www.louisanicolerose.com
I’ve been coming to terms with the idea of mental ill-health since I was 16 years old (I’m 37 now). I didn’t know then what I know now, and neither did the doctors I saw. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that I should have been able to expect more from them but I guess it was a different era. I also didn’t feel as comfortable to talk about it as I do now – also not unfair to say that I should have been able to talk more openly about it back then but again, different era. A lot has changed in the landscape of mental health in the last 21 years (thankfully!) and we are now in a position where it is not only more acceptable to talk about it, but it’s encouraged.
Of course, there are exceptions but I really feel that as a society, we should be proud of ourselves and the way that mental health has progressed. Here’s where I get a bit negative. We talk. That’s great. But in order for us to change the way mental health is considered, supported and taught, we have to stop talking and start doing.
I want my son to grow up in a world where he is aware of his emotions; aware of changes in them and aware of the difference between healthy worry and anxiety. A world where if he tells me he doesn’t feel well, it doesn’t automatically mean physically. Where feeling anxious is treated as well as is having a cold – a day to reset; some time for yourself, healthy food and drinks and an appointment with a professional if it doesn’t go within a few days (if your cold didn’t disappear within a few days, you’d be off to the doctor to review your symptoms).
So I think it’s fair to say I’m beyond talking now. I want to see changes. Actions. That’s how we make a real and meaningful difference.