Thursday, 16 September 2010

World Mental Health Day

Since moving to Leicestershire, I have got involved with various charities.  One of the key aims was to learn more about the condition I have, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and to build a network of other people in a similar situation.

Having a long term medical condition, depression can sometimes accompany it.  Often you are able to work through it with support of your consultant and those around you but there are times when you need to turn to other organisations.

My depression got quite severe and I had a couple of occasions when all I wanted to do was go to sleep and not wake up... Some may call this suicidal but for me, and I'm quoting a classic Robbie Williams line here, I didn't want to die but I didn't want to live either.  I went through periods of simply existing.  I ended up having to leave my job because there wasn't the understanding with my line manager.  This in turn made me very isolated.  I didn't contact friends because I didn't want to bring them down.  I also didn't always have the confidence to go out, finding supermarkets or anywhere that had crowds very intimidating.

This was when I was referred to my local Mind group.  Here I met people who had experienced varying degrees of mental health but getting to know them, I soon realised that my depression was nothing to be ashamed of and soon learnt that with the support of everyone there, I would soon find light at the end of the tunnel

It was because of this, I decided to join a World Mental Health Commitee for Leicestershire, using my personal experiences to raise awareness.

Through this that I have become involved with World Mental Health Day 2010, a day that was started by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992. 

It is a unified effort to promote greater public awareness and understanding of mental health and mental illness. Every year, thousands of people across the world raise awareness and funds for mental health causes. 

Each year, on 10 October, the Mental Health Foundation celebrates the day by raising awareness about mental health and wellbeing.

This year the theme is a continuation of the one on integration of physical and mental health from last year, with a specific focus on the relationship of mental health with chronic physical illnesses. As you can see, it is a theme very close to my heart and so I am very honoured to be involved in such a project.

The Committee I am on involved with is made up of local representaives, both employees and service users from organisations like WorkLink, Mind, Rethink, the Community Health Authority and the Local Authority.  

While World Mental Health Day falls on 10th October, with it being a Sunday, our Leicestershire Committee will be raising awareness on 11th October at the Britannia Shopping Centre, Hinckley.

There will be information on the different types of mental health, including depression as well as some fun and prizes on the tombola.....

Speaking of prizes, we are still very much in need of donations, so if you are an individual or a local company, your support would be greatly appreciated.

Whether it be something small but sweet like a bottle of wine, or on a grander scale, some vouchers for a meal out, all gifts are welcome.

You are able to send or drop prize donations off at the World Mental Health Committee, Work-Link Project, Amity House, 6 Holliers Walk Hinckley, Leics LE10 1QW : Tel 01455 636506

Thank you for reading... 

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