Yesterday was World Mental Health Day 2023, but here on the blog we believe that every day is a chance to raise awareness so lets talk about it.
This year, MIND is raising awareness of how inpatients are treated which has not been updated since the Mental Health Act was written 40years ago. So much has changed since then, from within the medical community to how society views mental health issues. It might have surprised you then to see how long it has been since the laws were created and have not been revised.
I started to struggle with my own mental health when I was at school, I always struggled with anxiety but school was so hard for me. I would be sick most mornings before going with nerves and I would be so overwhelmed with anxiety and my thoughts that it would affect my friendships.
I had no idea that most people do not live like that until I was in my twenties and going to therapy to deal with my health issues. Nobody really spoke about mental health back then, so it is hard to understand how this law has been in place since before I knew I was sick with no revisions.
These days people are so much more open about their mental health, I often see mental health or positivity sections in Discords that I am a part of and talked about on TV or on YouTube. This is such a good thing, and I hope it continues with people about to talk about it more, hopefully we can help one another learn and develop coping strategies.
I know for myself that watching TikToks and YouTube videos from fellow mental health advocates have helped me to understand myself a lot. I am pretty sure I am on the autism spectrum and wish I could be seen by someone to know for sure. But whether diagnosed or not, there are many people who are diagnosed talking openly that I can find things that have helped me.
However we shouldn’t have to turn to social media for coping strategies and help when it comes to our mental health. For so long now the NHS has been starved of funding and it is at breaking point, with rules set so long ago as well the practitioners must feel frustrated.
The Mental Health Act is meant to be followed, but research, knowledge and public acceptance has changed a lot since it was put into place in 1983. Mental health services need to be updated and improved so more people can be treated in a more compassionate way with more rights while inpatients.
Things need to improve, especially as society is becoming more open about their mental health more people are going to be asking for help. Everyone, no matter their diagnosis deserves to be cared for in a way that makes them feel like a human with rights and autonomy.
Over the years I personally have been lucky to have never been an inpatient, and I have seen many different therapists. I have learned a lot of routines and ways to make sure my own mental health stays as stable as possible.
I have spoken about this many times over the years here on the blog, and though I have not managed to receive long-term therapy or care, I am on treatment. I feel so lucky because of this, but I know that mine and so many others could be improved if the system was given enough money and the laws to back it up.
MIND are asking the UK government to deliver a reformed Mental Health Act before the next election and a link to the petition can be found here. I have signed it and I hope you will too, even if you do not use these services I think anyone can agree that everyone has the right to up to date treatment.
Times might have changed, and I hope you take better care of your mental health than older generations did. We all deserve to look after ourselves and be kind to one another, so please sign the petition for World Mental Health Day.
Thank you xx