Sunday, 19 August 2012
Steps In The Right Direction.
The torment of clinical depression means I have good days and I have bad days. With determination and reaching out for positive resources, positive distractions, the bad days are further apart.
It takes a lot to challenge my fears, to get out of the house, get out on the road and find the destination that brings the tantalising magic of adventure.
I first met my friends, Julie and Philip, who now live in Cardigan, Wales, when we all worked for a mental health charity based in Stoke on Trent. We are no longer involved with that charity and we have our various reasons. I, for one, got disillusioned by the lack of support and encouragement. I was vulnerable and that was exploited. I felt taken for granted and the awful irony was that the charity actually reinforced my mental health issues. Instead of feeling empowered, I felt used and disrespected. My genuine empathy for those who needed help and reassurance, was undermined by a charity that seemed to put funding before the powerful ideals of empathy. I moved on and we all moved on.
Julie and Philip have now set up a new mental health charity in Cardigan, Wales and I'm trying to be, from a distance, an integral part of it. We are determined to show compassion and understanding to those who are needing a helping hand. We are determined that this charity will demonstrate that there is no shame in having mental health issues and that one doesn't need to feel alone. Time to eradicate the unfair stigma, the stereotypes, the labels, that still surround mental health concerns. We are, very much, all in this together.
If you are needing support, or know of somebody who might appreciate support and live within a twenty mile radius of Cardigan, Wales, Julie and Philip have meetings that can be of mutual benefit. No matter what, if you are struggling, need someone to 'chat' to, there are various resources online that can be of help. I used to be the moderator on a mental health 'chat room' and it was the stepping stone for a number of those who wanted to pursue other avenues in their recovery.
Here is the link to the charity that Julie and Philip have started: STEPS TO MENTAL HEALTH They welcome your interaction, whether it be via a meeting, or if you just wish further information.
Please realise that mental health concerns can happen to anyone. Those who would stigmatise, must understand that a negative environment can overwhelm any of us. That's why it's imperative that we reach out and be here for each other. I am not ashamed of who I am and through further awareness and understanding, we can finally remove the stigma still surrounding mental health issues. Yes, we are all in this together. All different and all equal. Help each other, we help ourselves.