Headspace #6

Hi everyone! So first off some exciting news. Seeing as tomorrow (Tuesday 10th October 2017) is World Mental Health Day I’m going to be publishing an anonymous mental health blog every day this week to give a range of perspectives and help combat stigma. I’m travelling around the UK this week visiting family and taking some time to look after my own mental health with long walks in the country and big portions of tasty meals.

Today’s blog explores the amazing positive response one person got when they revealed they had experience mental health problems in an Instagram post, and what they’ve done since then to tackle stigma. It also includes three tips that they want to share about mental health. I hope you find this an interesting read and don’t forget to check back tomorrow.


Sport and Sharing

“A few years ago I suffered with severe anxiety. Although I might not have appeared to be my usual buoyant self it was eating away inside me. When the anxiety finally subsided I found myself in a rut of depression. I never really spoke to anyone about these MH issues. However, I was lucky that running, parkrun, and a strong network of friends and family (most of which were unaware about my mental health) got me through the worse of it. I’ll post a more detailed blog on my experiences in the coming weeks.

Mental health has been brought into public attention thanks to a number of people, documentaries and London marathon supporting the heads together charity. This provided courage and motivation for this post. Statistics suggest that 1 in 4 adults will suffer with some form of mental health every year. We need to build on this current movement and completely remove the stigma ensuring that it is acceptable to talk. It can happen to anyone.”

I wrote this post weeks and weeks beforehand however I felt very reluctant to post it to a public audience. I had to really dig in deep to find the courage to post it on Instagram.

My main motivation for being open about my mental health experience was primarily driven by the hard work carried out by the Royals and Heads Together charity followed by a number of high profile people being open about it. In fact to be honest if it wasn’t for the London Marathon and the subsequent mental health movement, I would very much doubt that I would have even thought about writing about my mental health on any social media platform.

When publishing my initial Instagram post last week, I wasn’t sure what sort of response it would get. I definitely didn’t think that I would receive so many positive responses. I’m literally overwhelmed with all of the comments and private messages that I received afterwards. Some people even felt inspired to be open about their very own mental health stories.

Although my Instagram post did generate a positive response, I have to say it’s just a grain of sand in a very big desert. We definitely need to keep building on mental illness movement and end the stigma.

  1.    Anxiety and depression can happen to absolutely anyone
  2.    It’s absolutely okay to talk about it (at least talk to charities such as MIND, CALM).
  3.    Exercise is the best form of anti depressants available

I’m hopefully over the worst of my negative mental health experience but I fully intend to continue to be open about mental health.

Since submitting this post, the writer has been involved in organising a run and talk – a great initiative supported by England Athletics to get people talking about mental health. If you want to know more – or are interested in organising one! – head to https://www.englandathletics.org/england-athletics-news/organising-a-runandtalk-run


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