Ask Twice

Georgina Mulhall, executive headteacher Gomer Junior School.
Georgina Mulhall, executive headteacher Gomer Junior School.
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SOMETIMES people may say they are fine when really they are not.

On Thursday, October 10 many people wore yellow as an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues. In the UK, one in four people will experience mental health problems this year; yet the shame and silence can be as bad as the mental health problem itself. Both children and adults are effected by mental health issues so the more we talk about it the stigma attached to individuals saying they are not okay will be marginalised.

Mental health is now more widely discussed but many still sense a stigma attached to it or struggle to understand or be understood - you can’t see a feeling. For the individual it may be very hard to articulate or understand one’s feelings. Individuals may feel as if they don’t have any control over what is being thought or felt. Furthermore, day to day living can seem overwhelming leading an individual to feeling they can not cope.

The important thing is not to try to cope on your own. It may seem difficult to talk about your feelings or ask for help – it may help to remember that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. There may also be a sense of burdening others or a fear of someone not understanding. However difficult it might seem, when you are feeling down it is important that you are not struggling on your own, remembering it is ‘okay not to feel okay’. There are lots of people who can help including your family and friends, community support groups and medical professionals.

Making simple life changes can make a real difference to one’s mental health. Feeling good is worth investing in! We all need a bit of help sometimes and it okay to ask. When we next ask someone how they are feeling and they reply that they are fine, maybe ask twice. Show the individual that you care. Our attitudes to mental health could change our own or someone’s life. Be kind to yourself and kind to others always.