Normalise the Conversation

In recent years people from across the spectrum from musicians to TV celebs, social media personalities or maybe even a friend have mentioned the words “mental health”. Many have shared their personal experience and actually been open and vulnerable about their own health and life journey. When someone with influence begins to talk about such a once taboo topic, it helps normalise the conversation around mental health and allows others to begin to have a better understanding. Even just a little.

One of the many people who has really helped me to be more open and honest was  Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child. She has discussed openly her struggles and traumatic mental health issues surrounding her career and social media abuse, campaigning for the discussion around mental health to. just. be. normal. Being open and honest has allowed her to find solutions to problems that she was unaware of when she was silent.

Talking about what I’ve been going through is really the premise of #TTM. Sharing not only my life stories but also allowing others to express their experiences, enabling us to inspire and encourage others who may be going through issues as well.

Over the last couple of years I’ve experienced mental health issues, financial and family problems, academic/career hurdles and loneliness. But it was only when I started speaking with friends and others on social media that I realised I wasn’t the only one going through something troubling or traumatic. Then I realised that if we were more open about our issues we’d may be able to relieve the pain.

“A problem shared is a problem halved”

I had a recent experience where I spoke frankly to a few friends about what I had been through at my lowest points and tried to explain why sometimes I’m not always myself. Whether intentionally or not, it was shrugged off. Leaving that discussion further revealed to me that some people just don’t understand. And it’s not their fault.

Then I realised that we need to be able to have open and honest conversations around mental health to try and remove the stigma around the word. That will the enable those who don’t experience such issues to have a better understanding of what suffers go through.

Men and women need positive outlets and environments to unload their feelings rather than internalising it! Not everyone is as open as I am talking about their experiences and issues. And that’s fine. Some days even I don’t even want to acknowledge what I go through. But thankfully there have been a number of new platforms available for just that. I’ve attended events such as Adzvice– “Let’s Talk” allowing men and women to be open and honest about life experiences (with their next event on 07.02.18; just for men). MIM Apparel creatively destigmatising mental health and organisation SAIE putting on events making it OK and safe to talk about your mental health and wellbeing

That’s what TTM is about, a place to share, read, learn and be open about things we go through because I know first hand what it feels like to be locked in your head and think that you’re the only person going through something.

So pick up your phone, call a friend and find out how they are or if you’re feeling crippled with issues find comfort in trusted company to be vulnerable and seek help.