As a mental health charity, we have got involved in World Mental Health Day since our inception. We love the fact that people used social media platforms to talk openly about mental health, sharing their experiences and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
And we think it is great that companies and the government each year show their support for good mental health within the workplace and society as a whole.
However, we decided to take a break from it this year — and here’s why.
Behind the social media banners, big promises and openness, the situation surrounding mental health provision in this country is actually getting worse, not better.
This year’s ONS suicide figures show a marked increase in suicides across the board, with an 83% increase for girls aged 10-24 since 2012.
More children than ever are sitting on waiting lists, with some CCGs admitting that they don’t even know how long those kids will wait before they see a therapist.
Self harm rates among school-aged children are increasing, with approximately 110,000 children aged 14 engaging in an act of self harm in 2018.
People are bravely sharing their struggles and stories with the world — and then on the 11 October, they’re back to struggling with treatment access and facing hurdles that shouldn’t be there.
To tackle these issues, long term initiatives and hard work needs to be carried out every single day to ensure that people are not suffering more than they need to, and that the receive the necessary care to move onto the path of recovery.
To tackle these issues, more people than ever need to be working together to create a more cohesive environment within mental health services, charities and government to ensure that the correct policies are being implemented to help as many people as possible, and the correct amount of funding is being apportioned and ringfenced for adult and children’s mental health services.
To tackle these issues, we need to shine a light on the hard work that takes place behind the scenes by individuals and charities, who work tirelessly — often voluntarily — to improve the lives of others who are suffering from or at risk of developing mental health problems.
It’s definitely going to take more than one day a year to get all of this done. So that’s why we’re concentrating on the work we — and many other charities and individuals locally, nationally and internationally — do every day to make the world a better and more helpful place for those who are struggling with their mental health.
Like thousands of organisations across the country, we are here 365 days a year to help, not just on the 10 October. Are you?