CW: Mental Health
So it’s world mental health day and as always a lot of the conversation is around “raising mental health awareness”. And to be honest I’m sick of it.
Raising awareness of mental health and working to destigmatise mental health problems is a good first step. But it means nothing when there’s a 10 foot wall in the way of the next steps. Mental health awareness is no use if there’s no effective mental health provision to follow it up. It’s no help if you’re in a shitty job which won’t let you take sick leave.
I know so many people who I’ve talked to, who have come to realise they need help and started to recognise the mental health problems they’re living with. And then mostly they sit for years on a waiting list. They walk into that wall built between step 1 and step 2. If you have money you can buy a ladder – use private services paid for through work, or out of pocket.
The rest of us walk a slower path, cobbling together help from friends, peer support groups, and self-help resources. We make do with what we have at hand, because we can’t access what we need. I’m lucky, I have a good support network and access to relatively affordable medication. Many others aren’t so lucky.
So let’s talk less about mental health awareness and more about mental health resources.