Mental Health awareness, getting our heads together

11 May 2017

It is Mental Health Awareness week. This year's theme is surviving or thriving. 

Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives... The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading the Heads Together campaign to end stigma around mental health.  - Heads Together
In March 2017, the Mental Health Foundation, conducted a survey to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems in the population.

Key findings
  • Only 13% of people report living with high levels of good mental health.
  • More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression
  • Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.
  • Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem. 

A significantly high number of special needs parents suffer from depression or anxiety or both but as the parent of a child with autism I was offered very little emotional support. Parents quite simply feel dumped on diagnosis.

Something needs to change!  Raising any child is challenging but raising a child with additional issues can be exhausting. Many SEN parents feel immense pressure to become the expert on their child's condition and then feel a failure if when they struggle. Quite frankly we were left to sink or swim...

I strongly believe that psychological support should be offered to all parents of newly diagnosed children. Special needs parents should be thriving not just surviving! 

An ode to anxiety

I wish you'd leave...
I wish you'd stop...

I hoped, with every fibre of my being
That you'd never come back!

But you have...

You sit heavy on my chest
Making every breath shallower…

You hide in my brain
Making me fussy, forgetful, unfocused…

You sap all my energy
Ruining my peaceful sleep…

Your filter alters my clear view
To a grainy, dark picture…

Every small setback
you are there, whispering...

Told you so! Stupid!
Idiot! Fool for trying...

The fear takes over
Threatening to cripple me.

Nobody sees, nobody knows!
Because you are my secret...

I fight every day
To keep you hidden from view...

The smile on my face
Showing a different story

The laughter from my lips
Telling everyone I'm fine

The can do attitude
Hiding the feelings of panic...

Taking the lead to show
I'm in control.

Plausible excuses are made
To avoid good friends.

Nobody knows the truth,
I'm keeping up the act.

But look in my eyes
See the panic.

Listen to my voice
Hear the waver.

Feel me jump
At the unexpected.

Running from what's inside
My head is exhausting!

It's time to talk...

I need to thrive
Not just survive!

by Imperfect Mum

Let's open the dialogue about mental health and help break the stigma! 

Guide to support and services here...

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