I'm writing this on World Mental Health Day, but I'm not going to publish until just after (GMT). Do you know why?
Ask the child who can't understand why everybody hates them.
Ask the teenager who can't understand why their best friend would want to hurt herself.
Ask the young parent who can't understand why they can't bond with their baby.
Ask the man who can't understand why everybody else apparently succeeds whilst he's racked with fear about answering the door.
Ask the woman who can't understand why, despite being in agonising pain, she can't take painkillers in case someone sabotaged them with hidden calories.
Ask the person who can't understand why their favourite person in the world would possibly believe that they would ever cope after that favourite person's suicide.
Ask your brother/sister/mum/dad/friend/neighbour...
Ask any other human, because we should feel empathy based on something other than our own relationships.
Every day is mental health day.
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of World Mental Health Day because, let's face it, we need it. I'm guilty myself of glossing over parts of my past to make things more palatable to the outside. I'll talk about myself and be half ashamed and half impressed at the fact that I can tell whole stories about stuff I've done without mentioning the events mentioned happened in hospital. I'm actually quite proud of the person I'm becoming, the person I have become because of the hurdles I have mostly tripped over and occasionally flown over, and yet still I make things easier for the outside world to break down. Because every day, to me, is mental health day. But to you, it's not. Not always.
More than the fact that I like the idea of World Mental Health Day, I like the idea that one day we won't need the day. I don't know, there's something about it that kind of grates on me because for 1 in 4 of us, every day is mental health day. In fact, I'd say every day is mental health day for most of us, because, chances are, whether you know it or not, someone you know, someone you love, is suffering. And if someone you love is in pain, well, that concerns you. If you know it or if you don't, if you know a person or not- all eventualities are problematic.
The thing that really needs to change and the thing that I really urge you today- the day after the official WMHD15- to do is to start the conversation. Open up the floor. You are worth it. You are loved. And you will fight.
Not every day is WMHD. Not every day you will win.
But every day, you can fight.