Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day, with the theme ‘Dignity in Mental Health’. I’m spending today with some friends in Suffolk, watching Harry Potter, walking dogs and chilling. It’s pretty perfect.
I’ve been checking social media all day and I’ve been very happy to see so many people joining in with raising awareness of Mental Health.
I recently wrote a blog for the Huffington Post about ‘Dignity in Mental Health’ you can read it here.
I was also asked to identify what dignity means to me for a lifestyle blog about World Mental Health Day. This was my answer:
Ella Robson, 22, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder
For me ‘dignity’ means others accepting me for who I am, and not being recognised solely for my mental illness.
I’m very open about my experiences with mental health, certainly to those around me but also on a public level. I write and blog about my recovery, and I stand up for what I believe is right, especially when it comes to breaking down mental health stigma.
Sometimes I worry that when meeting new people, or when undertaking professional work, that I will be treated differently due to my mental health.
Dignity to me is being treated as a human, I’ve said it many times and I will continue to say it: mental illness doesn’t make you any less human.
I want to be accepted for my talent, and my skill – not because of what I’ve been through. At times I feel like a burden to others, and that certainly hurts my dignity – I feel that’s a result of stigma.
If there wasn’t so much negative energy around the portrayal and acceptance of mental illness then I would feel more comfortable asking for help. In my personal opinion and experience stigma certainly affects my dignity.
I’m not saying physical health is any less important than mental health, but it is definitely treated differently – when I broke my arm as a child I must admit I thought it was cool, I was telling everyone, with mental health it’s different. I think there is still a lack of understanding, and at times, respect toward people with mental illness.
Dignity to me means being respected, understood and accepted.
Read the full post by Natasha Hinde here.
Today has been really lovely and I’m really pleased to see the wonderful efforts, honesty and positivity that’s hopefully the beginning of a new, more altruistic and realistic portrayal of mental health.
#EndStigma #WMHD #WorldMentalHealthDay