It’s so important to look after your mental health. For a long time, I didn’t really take my mental health seriously and it lead to my physical health suffering.
It is estimated that around 782 million people struggle with their mental health but this isnt taking into account the people who suffer in silence. More than 800,000 people die by suicide every year which is roughly one person ending their life every 40 seconds. It is absolutely heart breaking to think about which is why we need to do better. There needs to be more support out there for people with mental health problems and more funding to treat mentally unwell people with the care they desperately need. More importantly, we need to really listen and take people seriously and treat them with kindness when they do reach out for help.
I have struggled with my mental health for my whole life. It is an absolute struggle and challenge to get through each day. However hard it is, it is also so amazing to be able to show people how well I’m doing now and to hear people say that they’re proud of me! Of course, I still don’t always want to get out of bed in the morning- actually it’s quite hard! But every morning that I do get out of bed, I get to spend that time with my sister or with my dog and that makes recovering so worth it to me! Everytime I get to go on a walk alone (with the use of a walking aid), I’m reminded of how far I’ve come.
I met an amazing girl, during a mental health ward admission, who was absolutely amazing! She was only 14 at the time. We became close friends almost immediately. She was very bubbly, chatty and was a talented singer. She loved music and would play the guitar whilst singing along pretty much all day and throughout the early hours of the morning. She would always ask me to draw cat whiskers on her face- with a sharpie! She knew the good dinosaur off by heart and absolutely loved Lucy Spraggans songs! She would wake me up every morning by throwing little packets of butter at my face and demanding me to make her breakfast. She would find me in strange places (under desks or my wardrobe etc) and she never questioned or judged me, she’d just ask me to make room for her. She knew that I struggled with showering due to past traumas so she’d sit outside my door with her guitar and sing to me whilst I showered to keep me calm. She lit up every room she walked into. That girl was called Maziellie Mackenzie and unfortunately we lost her to suicide.
Mazie’s death was absolutely devastating to everybody that knew her. My heart broke the day she left us and I made it my goal to help other people like her (and myself) to get better and get the support they need to stay alive. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of Mazie and that pain of losing somebody to suicide never fades, it only becomes something you accept and carry with you throughout your life.
The things that help me with my mental health are things like making sure I take all of my prescribed medications at the correct dose, getting plenty of sleep each night, doing some self care (washing, dressing, doing my makeup) and making sure I go out for a walk everyday on my own to get fresh air and clear my head. I also find crochet very therapeutic and I have something nice that I’ve made at the end of it! I find that writing down all my worries/thoughts/feelings and any flashbacks I’ve had really helps (especially if I rip it all up into tiny pieces after writing it!). Colouring is also a good distraction (I got quite into colouring books with swear words in when I was in hospital).
But most importantly, talking about your problems and being as honest and as open about things as possible is really helpful. It doesn’t matter who you talk to as long as it is somebody you trust, who you know will be supportive. If you’re struggling with your mental health, I really strongly advise you seek some professional help for it as the therapies and medications can really make a difference!
If you think somebody is struggling with their mental health, encouraging them to talk about their feelings and seek professional support is really important. A lot of the time it really helps to just know that you have a friend/family member that you can talk to and rely on when you’re going through a tough time.
The samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 and they are an amazing uk charity that will listen to you, advise you where they can and it is all completely free & confidential 👍🏻
If you prefer texting, there’s also a free textline in the uk. If you text SHOUT to 82528, a trained counsellor will message you back and talk you through some coping strategies as well as listen to your thoughts and feelings. I have actually messaged them myself in the past and found them to be very supportive, understanding and helpful.
Please remember that you’re not alone. So many people struggle with their mental health and you can recover with the right support. You will be ok. You are strong enough to get through this and you deserve to get better! Take things one day at a time, one minute at a time 🕰