Today is World Mental Health Day. But, shouldn’t every day be mental health awareness day?
As a society, we have noticed a shift in the last five years or so, in that mental health is no longer a stigma, or something to be embarrassed or ashamed of, and is actually something that we are now freely talking about. I was recently on a first aid course at our Wigan office, whereby we spoke about the importance of mental health first aid, and how as a society, we should be focusing on not only the physical injuries that we as individuals can sustain, but the mental injuries as well.
It is often a misconception that to acknowledge how you are feeling is something to be embarrassed by, but there is absolutely no shame in this. Personally, I find that to talk about how you are feeling, even if you are a little down, makes everything seem brighter and fresher. As I was always told growing up, a problem shared is a problem halved, and a problem halved, is a problem solved.
It is surprising how many people have actually experienced their own struggles, whether it be caused by a road traffic accident, or an accident as a result of a criminal injury, but how would we know how others are feeling if we don’t talk about it? Just speaking to someone for a few moments, and getting things off your chest could make the world of difference.
Stephensons are in the midst of leading a new, forward thinking initiative, in which members of staff across the firm are being trained as “mental health first aiders.” These first aiders will be approachable at all times for any concerns or feelings that staff members may have, or even just to talk to for a few moments until they are feeling better in themselves.
In short, mental health is never something to be ashamed of, and although someone may feel that they are burdening others with their thoughts, you should not be going through an issue with mental health alone. Always talk to someone. Never be afraid to talk.
By Helen Livesey, graduate paralegal in the personal injury team