On World Mental Health Day 2018 I know only too well the damage that poor mental health can have on an individual and their families and I spent time today reflecting on what I have learned.
In May I wrote about Mental Health Awareness Week and it seems like almost every day I come into contact with someone who has suffered or who is suffering from mental illness, such as PTSD.
A staggering 6,213 people in the UK took their own lives last year and men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women; a terrible statistic which we can only hope will be tackled by todays newly announced Minister for Suicide Prevention. In my professional experience, the causes of mental ill health are multi-factorial but there is a common theme amongst the men I come into contact with and that is the stigma of mental health.
Our military, of all ranks and age groups, are especially vulnerable to poor mental health and most sufferers will unfortunately keep their pain inside, afraid to open up. Our famous wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, who was known to suffer with poor mental health, called it his ‘Black Dog’. We are all vulnerable and it can affect anyone.
Do you know someone who is struggling? Your husband, wife, child even, a workmate or a neighbour? Reach out to them. Put your mobile phone down and let them know you are there, to listen, and not judge. Just listening and making eye contact will make a world of difference.
There are also many fantastic charities doing their very best to help our troops and support those in our community with mental health illness:
Lastly, the BBC published a very thoughtful piece today on this important issue and how to self-help. Have a read and why not, give it a try? World Mental Health Day; What is mindfulness
MD – Alma Law Ltd
10th October 2018
Grant served for 10 years with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery where he was trained as an Arctic and Jungle Warfare specialist; military skiing instructor; artillery surveyor; parachutist; combat driver; combat medic; diver and Platoon Weapons Instructor. He has undergone training in mental health first aid and is a SSAFA Caseworker and a member of the Royal Marines Association Support Network