Published Tuesday, 11th October 2022
By Sophia Beadle
World Mental Health Day (10th October) may be coming to a close but mental health issues cannot end so easily, and especially at a time of such international and national unrest, the beginnings of colder seasons and the return to work, schools, universities and other positions after a summer finally unbound by most COVID-related anxieties, many people will be stressed, low, uneasy and lonely in feeling so. Even if your mental health experiences go far beyond what the later months bring, it is important to be reminded that nobody is alone in their struggles.
Thus a reminder should be given to not keep such feelings in and understate them for the sake of feeling less like a burden, allowing other responsibilities in life to take priority because they are seemingly far more important when, in fact, they aren't. The significance of looking after yourself no matter how insignificant your problems may appear to be is luckily becoming more recognised as time goes on.
This is especially apparent in the UK where the NHS allows the privilege of free outlets to discuss such issues. If seeking advice from friends and family seems daunting, it is no waste of your GP's time to talk about what has been going on. If this also is too much, there are countless charities and companies online that cater to every type of person and whose job is simply no less than to help, accessible even to those who wish to remain anonymous. These include Young Minds, the UK's leading charity for the emotional wellbeing of young people which raises hundreds of thousands every year and this year hosted the #HelloYellow campaign with communities across the country to do so again, bringing a (literally) brighter side to the social media that have become notoriously dangerous for mental health. Their website can be found here: YoungMinds | Mental Health Charity For Children And Young People | YoungMinds
Gateshead Council have also made sure to cater for mental health, providing an Every Mind Matters widget to offer more personalised advice, detailing more that the NHS can offer including Gateshead Talking Therapies (https://www.gatesheadtalkingtherapies.nhs.uk), and they link more sources of help closer to our home, including Gateshead Older People's Assembly (Classes, groups, and activities for over 50s in Gateshead (gatesheadopa.org.uk)), the Northumberland and Tyneside Mind Telephone Support line (https://www.tynesidemind.org.uk/get-help/our-support-line-8am-10pm-everyday/)) and Andy's Man Club (Andy's Man Club | #ITSOKAYTOTALK | Andy's Man Club (andysmanclub.co.uk)), the last of which supports specifically men, for whom talking about mental health can be especially difficult - you are valid too.
Gateshead Council's page on mental health and wellbeing can be found here: Mental health and wellbeing - Gateshead Council
The NHS's mental health services can be found here: Mental health - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Finally, if you or someone you know may be at serious risk under the weight of mental health issues, a 999 call is no waste of anyone's time. It is just as serious as physical health.
Looking after yourself is important, and although it may feel like it, you are never alone. There is help out there for you.
Words and thoughts of Sophia Beadle.