It’s #TimeToTalk day, a day where we can all help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. Although, we should all be encouraged to openly talk about our mental health on a normal day-to-day basis, without the worries of what other people may say or think. However it can still be difficult in today’s society.
First-year criminology student, Natasha Reece, openly discusses her mental health and how it impacts her on a day-to-day basis:
Hi, I’m awkward and I suffer from severe anxiety, depression and low moods, a trio of things you maybe don’t want to have when you’re a student. My usual days consist of me waking up worried, being paranoid that people are laughing or whispering or watching me in university, worried about my grades or if I am smart enough to be studying here and then going to bed with those worries only to then wake up and start a new day out with new worries. Doesn’t sound fun does it?
Outside of my mental health I am actually a pretty outgoing person, I’m loud, love to laugh and make people laugh, did I happen to mention that I was loud? No? I am highly sarcastic, have a terrible and sometimes morbid sense of humour – but I’m hardly able to show anyone that other side of me because I am to awkward and scared, I guess, to make any true friends in university. My worries stop me from doing that, so I end up being that girl that sits alone with her headphones in and a cigarette in her hand or hiding away somewhere in the university secretly eating lunch.
I am trying to change this, I want to have friends, to have something of a social life where I can go out and laugh about with people who get me, who understand me, who are kind but it’s difficult. So, until I muster up the courage to walk up to someone and say hi I will continue to sit alone with my headphones in and worry.
We are not alone, however. According to Mind, 1 in 4 people suffer with mental illnesses each year and although it is something we may find difficult to open up about, there is support out there.
Support on offer:
- The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day: call 116 123 – it’s FREE.
- Contact your GP!
- Talk to someone you trust!
What you could do to help others:
- Start a conversation! Sometimes this can go well and you’ll make a big impact on someone’s life.
- Smile at people.
- Ask someone if they’re okay.
- Check up on someone you haven’t heard from in a while.
- Be there for them.
- Be kind.