Mental Health – A heartfelt article by one who knows

mental-health-London

So the short version of the story is that one girl was very jealous and got three of her friends involved. The odds weren’t exactly in my favour! I got bullied by four girls and ended being treated by my local Mental Health Services for an Eating Disorder, Depression, Low moods and Severe Anxiety.

I know this will sound cliché to anyone who is suffering with a mental health illness but it really does help to tell someone. Tell your mentor, tell your best friend, tell you parents, tell anyone who cares about you, just please do it. If you can’t physically speak to that person then why not try writing it down? You can hand them the paper and let them read it, you don’t have to be present at the time just make sure someone is aware of your struggles.

I know from personal experiences that telling people how you feel really does make a difference, it may not seem like it at first but it will. I also know that there are hundreds and thousands of people struggling who are unable to access the help they need due to Mental Health being stigmatised so badly, people are ashamed to seek help, all because they are afraid of what someone will think.

1 in 4 of us will experience a Mental Health disorder at some point in our lives, a quarter of all UK citizens.

I think that when you are in an education environment you are always taught as pupils to look after your physical well-being but what about your mental well-being? Teachers don’t like speaking about it, again due to the stigma surrounding Mental Health. I will try and campaign to get Mental Health on the school curriculum and want it to be made very much a part of education for children.

Whilst I was completing my apprenticeship with Step Ahead I made them aware of my past and that I may still find it difficult to deal with things because sometimes my head will be in a different place all together but they understood what I was saying and were extremely supportive. I completed my Oral English exam at Step Ahead and my talk was on Mental Health and the panel were impressed and agreed that it is not mentioned or talked about enough, so they asked me to write this article.

In my opinion Mental Health needs to be something which is more socially acceptable not only in the school environment but in the work place, Mental Health illness is the leading cause of sickness in the work place with over 7 million work days lost each year. People who are in a work environment need to know that it is okay to go to your manager and say ‘look, I need time off, I’m not very well’. I do appreciate this is a hard thing to have to do (been there myself) Especially in a very masculine environment, men seem to think that they always have to be okay with life 100% of the time … we all know that isn’t the case.

We need to contact our teachers or teaching assistants, line managers, assessors, whoever can help you!

Just because you can’t see a Mental Health illness, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

When you think you are at your loneliest time, in the darkest hour, just remember there is always someone who knows how you feel, maybe not the exact same situation but there will always be someone willing to help and understand you.

I promise.

Kayleigh Rice
Step Ahead Apprentice

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