The human brain is an amazing thing. It allows us to think, to understand, and to shape the incredible world that we live in. It drives every interaction we have; every decision that we make. It is the reason we are where we are right at this very moment.
It is remarkably powerful.
And yet, it is also remarkably vulnerable. Much like every other organ in the human body, our brains can also get sick.
The sad truth though, is that many of us don’t aid its recovery. We plug away, turning a blind eye to the signs and symptoms that suggest something is not quite right.
For me, it’s an incredible irony that one of the most important organs in our body is not treated as such.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a campaign aimed at promoting just how important looking after our mental health really is.
Mental Health problems affect 1 in 4 of us in the UK, with over 450 million people worldwide currently suffering from a mental health condition.
I’ve seen first-hand the impact poor mental health can have on someone’s life. It’s affected the strongest people I know. It’s had a massive impact on many of the lives of my closest friends and family, and I’ve had my own struggles with mental health too.
Not looking after Mental Health can lead some people to a place they never thought they’d go. Suicide is the biggest killer of men between the ages of 20 and 49 in the UK, with over 18,000 people with mental health conditions in the UK taking their own life between 2003 and 2013.
Mental Health can be an extremely difficult thing to deal with.
But I’m not afraid to speak out. I’m not ashamed to say I have my own battles with mental health, and I’m not afraid to talk about why I feel the way I feel, to the right people.
I’m a passionate advocate of starting the conversation around mental health and breaking the stigma behind it. We need to create a culture of trust, where mental health isn’t seen as a negative thing, and people don’t feel ashamed to talk about it.
Many people think that they are weak because they struggle with their mental health. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just like someone with diabetes can be physically strong, someone suffering with depression or anxiety can be mentally strong.
I’m hugely excited to be making a difference in the mental health space, and if I can help just one person on their journey to improving and looking after their own mental health, I’ll be happy.
We’re all on this crazy planet together. Life can be stressful, and things don’t always quite go to plan.
Look after the people closest to you. Be kind. Ask them how they are feeling and be patient if they don’t want to open up.
Let’s start making this world a happier, healthier place to live.
Let’s start prioritising Mental Health.