When a person,of any age, is struggling with mental health issues they may prefer to keep it private, anticipating that it could be regarded as a sign of weakness, potentially threatening their future choices, friendships and quality of life. They may adopt a stiff upper lip, not wanting to disclose how vulnerable or fragile they’re actually feeling. However, this approach rarely improves anything and bottling things up can sometimes cause problems to escalate.
Until we’re affected or lose someone close we rarely have any idea of the staggering statistics around mental health, stress and suicide. Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide and it’s still the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK! We’ve recently had some significant diary reminders; Grief Awareness Day, World Suicide Prevention Day, the anniversary of the Twin Towers, World Mental Health Day, all days that remind us of life’s fragility and the importance of supporting each other.
There are ways we help both ourselves and others to live a more ‘in touch’ life. Let’s start by considering young people, who often have so much going on in their lives. Fear of missing out is often a factor, as friends post on social media images of their busy, amazing lives. Little matter that those images are posed, edited and displayed for public consumption. A young person may simply see their friends as being happier, more popular and successful than them.