As a Reason to Smile post tonight, I am attaching a link to The Samaritans, who not only provide the support service at the end of a telephone, but have also moved with the times and now provide an email service if you'd rather not vocalise your issues and would prefer that physical and emotional barrier of typing an email. http://www.samaritans.org/talk_to_someone/email.aspx
The organisation SANE, ( who I have featured before in a Reason to Smile a few weeks ago-http://www.discoverdisability.com/2011/11/reason-to-smile-black-dog-campaign.html ), also provide an emotional support forum- the ethos of which is to provide mutual support based on responsibility, respect, empathy and acceptance. http://www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/supportforum/
These groups are making me smile today as it is wonderful to know that there is support of some form out there for everyone should they need it.
Everyone is different and people benefit from different forms of support. I personally prefer a face-to-face approach to emotional help- but at a time when I was not physically able to seek such physical support, (being that it was not being offered to me- as I am hoping it will eventually be through my charity's work)- I now feel that had someone suggested these online services to me during this period of adjustment, I would've been helped to some degree, at a time when I was at a desperately low ebb emotionally
I feel it is imperative that we break down this ridiculous stigma associated with depression and mental illness in general.
There is so much emphasis in this country on being the best that we can possibly be and overcoming one's issues with great british stoic strength and decorum.
To some degree this is all very well, as in some people I beleive that this school of thought may induce an impressive strength to achieve: but the fact is, we all work SO differently and it is VITAL that emphasis must also be put on realisticly accepting one's limitations, ( be them physical or emotional), and on encouraging people to support others when they are going through difficult hurdles in their lives for whatever reason- or indeed for no reason, as they are simply struggling to cope.
We should learn as a country to support, rather than to scrutinise and scathe.
Let's break down the barriers of this stigma of depression- or emotional weakness, as it is all too often dreadfully described!
I have personally really battled with depression and anxiety since becoming disabled. I am not ashamed, as I feel that elements of society subconsciously encourage me to be.
Help yourself and help others.
Goodnight everyone. Sleep well.