Let's Talk About Mental Health

While it perhaps doesn't seem so, mental health problems have existed as long as physical illnesses. However, until very recently, those suffering were given little encouragement to speak out about how they were feeling. Nowadays, we have begun to put an emphasis on openly discussing our mental health, whether it's good or poor, but the subject is still shamefully somewhat of a taboo. HD Online ran a poll on Twitter this week, and while we (sadly) knew what the outcome would be, the answers only fuelled the desire to actively help to end the stigma.
It's important to recognise that mental illnesses are just as detrimental to an individual's wellbeing as physical conditions. Depending on various factors such as their symptoms, how long they have been suffering, and the extent to which they are negatively affected, their treatment and recovery can take months, if not years.

If someone broke their arm, you would not expect them to drive or cycle one-handed, or force them to use that arm to carry a heavy bag, as it would be dangerous. The same, we should realise, goes for mental health. Putting pressure on someone who is battling with their brain everyday, causes only more turmoil and hurt, but this is often forgotten because we cannot see what is going on. 

Whether someone has anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar or any other form of mental health problem, they are just as valuable to society as the next person and shouldn't feel ashamed. What most people fail to realise is is that they are all nervous system disorders - they require patience and appropriate care, and shouldn't be ignored. We all - whether suffering or not - need to work together to spread awareness about mental health, to help discussions about it become a part of everyday life, and improve wellbeing.

This is why I've decided to launch Art for Mental Health. Whether you consider yourself creative or not, and regardless of whether you suffer from a mental problem, I'm seeking people from all over the world to submit song lyrics, poems, drawings, doodles or whatever you want to contribute, to help end the stigma around mental health. For example, it could be a song about your experience with anxiety, a drawing of you how you help your friend when they have a panic attack, or just a more general interpretation of the subject.

The ultimate goal is to put all your contributions into a book - either on their own or intertwined with other aspects to promote positive wellbeing - that would then be sold with a percentage of profits going to a mental health charity. In the meantime, I want to get people talking about mental health, encouraging them to seek help with their conditions and making them realise that they're not alone #ArtforMH.

Follow Art for Mental Health on Twitter and drop us a 'like' on Facebook

Submissions can be sent to Art4MH on social media with the hashtag, or email (address in above image) with your work, your details and a small description


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