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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mental Health Awareness Week


This week sees Mental Health Awareness Week return once again, this is the first year I have actually searched for this particular charity though and taken some notice of what it is achieving. Mental health is something we sweep under the carpet either because we don't want to talk about it, don't understand it or don't think it's a big deal. It actually is a really big deal as my family and I have found out. The Mental Health Foundation state that one in four of us will experience some sort of mental health problem over the course of a year, this is normally anxiety or depression or both.

And it is not the sort of people you may be thinking of, it can affect anyone at anytime in their life no matter what age they are or their gender. About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time compared with depression affecting one in five older people -  each person matters and it's all relative. When depression and/ or anxiety hits a person you see them become someone they are not and someone they would never want to be. I'd like to tell my story about how someone very close to me was taken by her own mental health.
My auntie and me
In January of this year my auntie, who hadn't even reached 40, decided to take her own life due to poor mental health. Carol was a happy, bubbly person when just one thing a few years ago changed all that. She had tried to take her life before and we managed that time to get her the help she needed but depression and anxiety has a nasty way of creeping its way back in. This time there was nothing we could do, the only way Carol could see a light at the end of the tunnel was to leave us. The hardest decision anyone has to make no matter what their mental state may be.

I was lucky enough to have an amazing auntie with me for 23 years, in that time she helped me grow up and be the person I am now and for that I will be forever grateful. I will have memories and photographs of school sports days (not that I ever won), trips to the zoo and so many birthdays. She knew how much we all cared about her and maybe if she had shared her anxieties with us this time she would still be here and we would not be without her.

Mental Health affects everyone and it is time we helped those who cannot help themselves. Please follow the links below to donate to this amazing charity or to learn more about what they do.

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