Today is Time to Talk Day, the day where the nation is encouraged to talk about mental health with another person.
I guess, for me, every day is Time to Talk Day, mental health is a prominent part of life for me, my Husband and I talk daily about how I am, the progress I’ve made, how I have got in my sessions with my mental health team, of which I have several per week.
I speak with friends, family, I blog, and I tweet. Over the years I’ve realised that having a mental illness is part of me, it isn’t something to be ashamed of and I have learned to embrace it.
What many people without a “mental illness” forget is everyone has mental health. Anybody can become ill, they may not get taken down with what is considered a serious mental illness but stress, anxiety, depression as examples can affect anybody at any time.
I really felt that talking about mental health was vital and last year created Mental Health Voices on Twitter. Mental Health Voices is special because although it’s my baby so to speak, I don’t run the account. It’s a rotation curation (#RoCur) account which is run by it’s followers.
Every Sunday a new person takes over and they talk about their experiences with mental health, they also talk about what they are up to that week giving the people who follow the account a really good picture of what mental health looks like.
We have had people from all around the world, some working, some not, some students, some still at school. It not only gives the followers a picture that mental health affects everyone, everywhere, from all walks of life. But it also gives these people a voice, many of them don’t talk about their mental health on their on Twitter accounts so it’s an opportunity for them to be open in a safe place.
I recently took a turn for the worse and needed to take a break from the online world. It was so humbling to me that one of the curator volunteers I had got friendly with came forward and took over managing the account for me while I was unwell so that @MH_Voices didn’t get stopped while I was unwell.
This, to me, shows that we have built a real community on this account, that we don’t just talk about mental health but truly support each other when it really counts.
Anybody can take part in Mental Health Voices you just need to have experience of mental health be that as someone with lived experience, a carer, someone who works in mental health, or someone from one of the many amazing mental health organisations. If you want to take part drop me a tweet/DM at @BrizzleLass