All of us go through difficult times and there are occasions when we need additional support.
I feel that society for years expected people to learn to cope with the complexity of a world which can often appear to them as bewildering and irrational as “mental health” was a taboo subject.
I want people to feel comfortable in their skin, to know what they are feeling is common and that even if they are dismissed or overlooked by the strained NHS service that there are other people who will listen, offer a helping hand and direct them in alternate routes to get the right help.
I have first-hand experience with mental health issues with having periodically suffered from anxiety.
I learnt a lot during my own journey, the main thing was accepting that anxiety is a mental health condition and how people who are fully functioning and successful can be effected.
I have an autistic 10-year-old and it’s my journey as a mother that triggered a lot of my darkest thoughts and worries.
I have found that since blogging for FireFly and sharing my blogs on social media, I often receive queries from friends/friends of friends for advice and support and they are always relieved and grateful for someone to interact and confide in.
In some instances, I think they find it easier asking questions to someone unknown to them and outside of the equation.
I understand that getting people to trust and open up to people they don't know, or similarly to feel comfortable speaking to people who they love is challenging.
What works for one person is not the remedy for another.
I also appreciate that there are people want help but are reluctant to take the advice and recommendations suggested too them and this can be painful when you are trying to support someone you care for.
Emotional wellbeing and mental health in young autistic people is often overlooked as many of their symptoms could appear "typical" of the condition itself.
OCD and depression being other mental health conditions that end up being pushed to one side as people are unaware that they are conditions and that support is available.
I have previously attended parenting seminars to build up my knowledge as well as online learning courses, as now my son will be approaching his teenage years I want to be armed with the best knowledge so I can support and help him understand this challenging time.
I have started laying the foundations and talking about mental health at home; teaching that we can all have thoughts and worries and we need to be open and talk about these, so as a family we can all support each other. After all; if I don’t know what’s troubling him, I can’t help him.
“mum, can I just say that the reason I love you so much is because you have an answer for everything and you can solve every problem……”
This was a comment out of the blue after tea one evening and not in relation to any type of “talk”, it shows me though that hes understanding in his own what that I can help him.
I won’t always have the answers or solve all his problems, but in order to help his mental health I will use every fibre of my soul.
Mental Health is not something we can “fix” or reduce the numbers.
It’s a fact of our society and we need to embrace this.