Mental Health Awareness Week: where do we stand?

Recently in the UK was Mental Health awareness week.

If you’ve listened to our latest episode, you’ll have heard how excited we were for it. Because if we at Anxious and Insecure are aware of anything, it’s our mental health (because it’s terrible).

With corporations and brands getting on board with the Week, and campaigns for changes and destigmatisation popping up all over the place, it looked like a real turning point moment.

But, as usually happens with big events like that, it’s all died down pretty rapidly.

Take my office, for example. Some real conversations about mental health were had, sparked by the occasional news item from the radio.

Do you want to know how many mental health conversations we’ve had since that week?

Bloody ZERO.

But I bet you saw that coming.

Rows of empty seats
Look at all the people waiting to talk about mental health now

Meanwhile, my own mental health has taken a recent downturn (ugh, she’s going to talk about depression now, look away while you still can). Luckily for me, I have a support network in my friends and family, so I’m handling this particular spiral pretty well.

Then again, I work in that office for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. That’s a huge chunk of my life away from support and comfort, under pressure to turn up even when leaving my house seems like the worst and most dangerous thing in the world.

And before you get all #NotAllOffices on me, I have taken a very scientific survey (asked some mates) that tells me this is not the only workplace that half-arsedly acknowledged Mental Health Awareness Week and then never spoke of it again.

So what? What do you want from us?

Buggered if I know. Breaking down a stigma like mental health takes constant, unending, round-the-clock, always-on work.

And for all this work, tiny victories will be won only occasionally.

So pretty much all I can ask is that everybody keeps doing that work. Oh my gosh it’s so much work.

Jean Ralphio too much responsibility gif
Come on, guys, we can do it!

Look, I’m trying to be positive here. How am I doing? Badly? It feels like I’m doing badly.

I’m going to promise you all something right now, but, because promises are the only thing I hold legitimately sacred, it’s going to be super vague and hopeful.

I promise that, if we all try as much as we can to break down the stigma, push for change and share our mental health journeys, we can help to create a culture where mental health is not only taken seriously, but cared for to an unprecedented extent.

See? Not asking too much, is it? Gosh, I’m exhausted from all this forced optimism.


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