Whether its a low roof, a tree branch or a wooden beam; this sign is there to protect your head from a nasty bump! (Unless, like me, you're short enough to not need to worry too much!). But there's no warning sign or caution for minding your head mentally. In fact, whilst growing up we're often warned about being careful of things that will physically harm us; playing with fire, be careful with knives, don't eat raw chicken!
What about looking after our mental health? Looking after each others mental health? The society that young people grow up in today really worries me about their ability to 'mind their head', with social media all the rage and kids as young as 9 with smart phones it's even more important now for them to learn healthy attitudes for their own wellbeing as they grow up. We're lucky where I work to have 2 chaplains that are extremely good at raising the awareness of mental health through weekly quotes, mindfulness conferences and wellbeing ideas. Both students and teachers benefit from this and the work they do, they're both approachable people and both staff and students are able to talk to them about anything, the awareness this is building and walls its knocking down is only ever a positive!! We need to break the silence and taboo of mental health.
I've been quiet for too long on this blog, but actually mental health is not something to be quiet about. Too many people suffer in silence, pretend everything is fine or get lost in the system for help!
I've recently been faced with the brutal reality of not only how traumatic and damaging depression can be for the sufferer but also the people around them who love them and want to help. I'm lucky enough to have an amazing family and circle of friends who have stood by me and continue to stand by me no matter how stubborn and unloveable I may be/have been.
People shouldn't live in darkness, and they certainly shouldn't face it alone. So if you know someone struggling, let them know you're thinking of them, send them some chocolate or their favourite sweets; it can be a very lonely journey, and if the person reading this is the one struggling, reach out to someone you trust, there's no shame or judgement. It's time to talk, time to change.
Look out for each other, but don't forget to mind your head!