So today is the 25th #WORLDMENTALHEALTHDAY dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues since 1992.
Mental health services are improving although they are definitely not ready to tackle the crisis that we currently have in the UK. Mental health isn’t small area and unfortunately it cannot be tackled simply by issuing out a pill. Go into schools, go into companies, churches and any other organisations and you will see the scale of people suffering with various mental health issues.
Depression is one of the most isolating and draining mental illnesses that affect many people from different walks of life. The mental health services are beginning to take action, although I personally know of too many cases where professionals have misjudged the seriousness of the issue, by either issuing out anti-depressants too early, or dismissing a person’s claim with little or no investigation.
In my own case, I have sought the help of several counsellors and psychologists about depression, and most recently I was referred to my GP by a psychologist from my university, as she believed I was a cause for concern. After three meetings with this psychologist she wrote a letter to my GP also suggesting that I should be given anti-depressants. It puzzled me that I spent several hours pouring out secrets that I held very dear to my heart only to be offered anti-depressants. Anyway, this referral meant that my GP took my case seriously and referred me to a more appropriate service.
Anti-depressant is not an option for me. I reached out to the psychologist to speak to someone external and objective and to receive advice, not drugs. People with mental health issues need strategy, especially those who are actively seeking for help. We are not interested in relying on a substance for temporary happiness. We want to know how we can take steps towards finding joy. I am hopeful that the service will improve and that mental illnesses will be treated with the same regards as physical illnesses.
I am also determined not to sit back and allow myself to fall deeper into depression because the health services ‘failed me.’ I do not accept the view that depression can only be managed and controlled, my faith disagrees with this.
Information is good
If you are a Christian and you have mental health issues do not be afraid to reach out to secular organisations for help. Be alert however, as there is a lot of spirituality being offered as a part of the health services that is incompatible with our faith e.g. yoga.
There is so much that contributes to good mental health and wellbeing. Look at your diet, your environment, your thought processes, and your prayer life and see what changes you can make to improve your mental wellbeing.
You have to want it. You have to fight for it. Take small steps and reach out. Read, research, and let people into your world. You deserve to be well.