Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Mental Health; My Dream

I am a dreamer; I am constantly thinking of ways that I can adopt my behaviour, attitude, feelings and emotions to make myself a better person, and to think of ways to contribute to making a better society.

One of my life goals is to continue to break down the stigma around mental health in any way, shape or form that I can.

Mental health awareness was the biggest driver, inspiration and motivation for starting this blog and I am so greatful for those who have contributed, commented and supported my decision to speak openly about such a sensitive topic. But my blog is only the start of a much bigger dream that I  have when it comes to mental health.

So what is my big dream and how do I hope to do everything in my power, to achieve this dream?

I dream of a world where;

Mental health is viewed as a serious, life threatening illness by everyone, just like cancer.
I hope to;

Coordinate a fundraising event like a red and rump night to create awareness and raise funds for mental health. My dream is for people to volunteer their time and services to help to bring the night together, including a caterer, musicians, waiters and waitresses and many other roles that would be needed. I would love to approach guest speakers who have experienced mental health first hand, either as sufferers, carers or professional health workers to speak openly in an attempt to open the minds and hearts of the community, while raising money for Beyond Blue and other non for profit mental health organisations. I am particularly keen to have a male speaker who has suffered from mental health, as I am from a small country town, where men are most at risk of suicide and depression. I want to create an environment where they feel as though they can speak up about how they are feeling, and give them the opportunity to speak to a professional.

I wish that;

People didn't even blink, think or question asking for help if they find themselves struggling with anxiety, stress, depression or any other mental health related illness.

I hope that one day;

People will go to the doctor and seek help for their mental health issue, as openly and freely as they would for any physical ailment that they may have.

I want the government to fund;

Adequate health care facilities for people needing an extra helping hand with getting their life back on track after suffering from the pain and exhaustion of such illnesses.

This includes providing a safe haven for people just like you and I who suffer from temporary short term mental health issues like depression and anxiety, instead of having institutions that mix the chronically ill with the temporary unwell. Both of these patients have very different needs, and I strongly believe that the current government health care facilities can't cope, or aren't designed for temporary mental health patients.

I pray that;

Suicide can be spoken about openly instead of it being such a taboo, swept under the carpet, hushed topic. Even news reporters are required to be extremely selective and sensitive when reporting anything to do with suicide. Our own government has been questioned on the reporting of misinformation and statistics from the Census's, eluding to lower numbers of suicide then what actually occur. I think this is very frightening, and infact digusting, that our own government won't or can't recognise just how big of a problem mental health is, in today's society. Maybe acknowledging it means spending more money on awareness and facilities to prevent, control and cure mental health illness???

I would absoloutly love it if;

People had the confidence to talk openly about how they truly feel without feeling ostracised, ashamed or worried about how people may perceive them.

I truly believe that this comes back to acknowledging mental health as a serious illness, creating awareness about how it affects the sufferer and their loved ones, and  speaking openly about suicide, depression, anxiety, bipolar, post natal and all of the other serious illnesses that fall under the mental health umbrella.

I want people to understand;

The impact that mental health has on the sufferers family, friends and carers, and for support networks to pop up for those who have lost loved ones to depression, or are currently supporting someone through the illness.

I long for a time where;

Those who lose someone to depression don't feel ashamed to talk openly about the person and the illness that claimed their life. We don't think any differently of people who lose their life to drink driving, or bungee jumping, or smoking (and any other risky behaviours), or other illnesses like cancer, so why should we think any differently to those who lose their life to a recognised health issue?

I hope that the;

Number of deaths due to suicide decreases with awareness and acceptance, rather then continuing to increase due to ignorance, shame and misunderstanding.

It'd be amazing if;

People would see a psychologist as regularly as they see a general practioner, to help them work through their pain, past, memories and whatever may be adding to their illness. 

I wished people would be open to;

Trying medication to bring their illness under control, just like you'd swallow a panadol to take away the pain of a headache. The way that I have come to see it is that there is no point living with an illness that can be controlled by medication. Why suffer when you don't have to? Of course, I also believe that medication goes hand in hand with speaking to a psychologist.

I guess my biggest dream would be for mental health to cease to exist, but realistically I know that is never going to happen. So instead, I am going to continue to dream, and create awareness through my own blog, and speak openly about my experience, to show that I am not ashamed of my past, so that hopefully, other people, feel as though they can do it if I can!!!

Help me to break down the stigma about mental health and inturn help my dreams come true!!!

A huge thank you to ABC Open, Mindshare and Writer's Week for helping me to spread the word about mental health!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

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