The perception of mental health is tainted by stigma and discrimination which act as the obstacles to a meaningful public discussion on mental health.
Ending the stigma that surrounds mental health is easier said than done. The stigma around mental health pervades all cultures around the world, and starts with the internal belief that mental illnesses are equated with weakness and failure. This internal belief is amplified when talking about the state of the mind. As the mind is at the centre of who we are and what defines us, delving into the mind can be a scary process for anyone.
To help combat this, the discussion of mental health must start in our own communities. Sharing our own experiences are vital in ending the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses. This starts with conversations amongst people who identify with each other, who share similar problems and struggles to create a space where any emotional struggles can be discussed without fear of judgement.
On a national level, we are already seeing some important steps being taken by the Heads Together Charity to facilitate a nationwide conversation on mental health. The charity is spearheaded by the Royal Family with endorsements from many celebrities. It is beginning to help show that many of us suffer from mental health issues, regardless of the factors we believe divide us.