According to mental health campaigners Time To Change, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Whilst that statistic may surprise you, the real shock is that many suffering with mental health issues will still choose to struggle in silence.
Despite its prevalence, it seems we still find mental health a difficult subject to approach. Another mental health campaign, Heads Together, hit the headlines recently when they released a series of videos featuring celebrities opening up about mental health in a bid to help combat the stigma. The campaign, endorsed by the Royal Family, shows celebrities such as Stephen Manderson (rapper Professor Green), discussing the importance of reaching out to others for support and breaking the taboo.
“I was petrified. It scared me that people were going to see me at my most vulnerable, in a way that I don’t often see myself” Manderson says. “It has to be spoken about, it has to become commonplace, it has to be something we accept and deal with….we have to remove that stigma.”
Watch the full interview
More and more celebrities are raising awareness of mental health by sharing their own experiences…
Model Cara Delevigne: “I think I pushed myself so far that I got to the point where I had a mental breakdown… I thought that I was completely alone. I also realised how lucky I was, and what a wonderful family and wonderful friends I had, but that didn’t matter.” 1
Actor Devon Murray: “I’ve been battling depression in silence for ten years & only recently spoke about it and has made a huge difference. I had suicidal thoughts this year and that was the kick up the arse that I needed! Open up, talk to people. If you suspect a friend or family member is suffering in silence #ReachOut to them. Let them know you care.” 2
Footballer Rio Ferdinand: “A network of people around you is so important and I was fortunate to have that, and also having my kids as inspiration to make sure I get up and do things and try and make things work. Some people aren’t afforded that, some people haven’t got that, and that’s when I started to become a bit more sympathetic when people do go to dark places.”
What can I do if I think someone I know is suffering with a mental health problem?
The advice from mental health charity Mind includes listening, being there and offering emotional support and reassurance. When they’re ready, you can also advise them how to seek help.