One of the most positive changes which has happened in the world of mental health is the wider acceptance of these illnesses and the way in which suffered are viewed in society. For many years mental health was considered to be a myth, or that sufferers of mental health issues should be hidden from view, terrible attitudes towards people with real health issues. Thankfully this has changed radically and we now live in a society where it is ok to talk about your issues without the fear of judgement or reprisal. I often help out at Amare Global, a company which takes a community-based and holistic approach to mental health and how to treat it, and I have noticed in the last few years alone just how much more comfortable people are when talking about the various illnesses which we place under the umbrella of mental health.
So what is it that has changed people’s attitudes so much and how have we managed to move on so far in such a short space of time?
Sadly bad things often need to happen before people change their minds about things and when it comes to mental illnesses such as depression, we have seen many people taking their own lives as a result of their mental health problems. This shocks many of us because there are very really symptoms, we can see someone happy one minute and the next they have taken the extreme choice of ending their life. When these tragedies happen we naturally want to know why and this is why many people have decided to learn more about mental health, thus breaking down social barriers.
Talking About It
For so many years people with mental health issues had to suffer in silence because they were afraid that they would be ridiculed or treated differently. In recent years however we have seen celebrities and important public figures give these silent sufferers a voice. More people are speaking out now because they think that if someone who is popular can have a voice then so can they. We have also seen important people use their power for good in terms of backing charities and range the subject of mental health, which has further supported the changing attitudes towards these issues.
We have also welcomed in new laws around those with mental illness who will now be better supported in the workplace than ever before. For many years people had to take sick leave and invent reasons why, simply to get some head space or to go and get some counseling, they no longer have to do that now because we have been changing the law to support them.
We have some way to go yet until this is widely accepted as a part of our society but the changes and the advancements that we have made in the last couple of decades has been absolutely huge, and long may that continue.