A lot of mentally well people seem to be under the impression that #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek is about sharing hotline numbers and flooding time lines with horrendous suicide statistics and no trigger warnings.
Fun fact - mentally ill people are ALREADY AWARE.
Sure, most employers are still prone to firing you for ~unrelated~ reasons 😒
But we've been told over and over again to "reach out".
And you know what? It's BULLSHIT.
What is the POINT in being aware of mental illness, of being told to reach out
... when GPs still aren't trained to handle suicidal patients?
... when NHS cuts have hit mental health provision so badly that it legitimately barely exists?
What is the point in me ~raising awareness~ of my own struggles with suicide and depression
... when ESA benefit assessments for the ill and disabled ask me to detail my attempts?
To explain, in detail, how I self-harm?
Not to a doctor. To a desk worker.
My own GP (who I'm v lucky to have) told me not to go to the hospital for my OWN safety. Because they no longer help suicidal people.
My suicidal friend was discharged and told psychiatry couldn't help them so to go home and "do what you think is best".
The therapy I get, that has saved me from trying to kill myself and helped me actually feel happy for the first time in my life?
Not available on the NHS. In fact NO therapy is available here on the NHS.
I pay for it from my benefits and generous donations.
And don't think the medication side is any better. I could only see a psychiatrist every 4 months. A different one each time.
I only eventually got my meds changed after my partner attended with me, in professional attire, and spoke for me.
Don't tell me to "reach out".
Don't tell me to "raise awareness".
I do that every fucking day of my life, and I do it despite the fact there is barely ANYONE who listens within the medical profession or government buildings.
I am alive DESPITE your silence.
What I care about is the lack of mental health care, the punishment of mentally ill people on benefits, the lack of mental health education in schools, the lack of REAL protection for mentally ill workers.
The lack of care.
I speak about mental illness because I am beyond lucky to have had people who fought my corner when I could no longer stand.
I speak about mental illness because my dog, partner, family & friends saved me.
If, like many people, I had none of that support system
if I hadn't had a friend who pushed me into therapy by paying for it
if I didn't have weekly therapy, still, with my clinical psychologist
I'd be one of the statistics being casually thrown around today.
I am AWARE of that.
Mentally ill people are AWARE.
So fuck off with sharing your ~shocking~ statistics with NO trigger warning.
Fuck off with your bloody phone numbers and your assurances that we just need to "reach out".
Be fucking aware that ISN'T ENOUGH.
🔸 Follow and boost mentally ill tweeters
🔸 Vote for parties that want to raise mental health care support & funding
🔸 Talk to your kids about MH, often
🔸 Reach IN to people who are struggling