World Mental Health Day 2017

Today is World Mental Health Day.

So please mind yourself.

In the end, you are responsible for your own wellbeing.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need help every now and again.

I certainly do.

If you’ve never struggled with a mental health problem then, take it from me, you’re lucky.

I decided to be very public about my depression seven years ago and I did so in order to help others.

Of course, because of my work here I knew that I was handing a stick to the klan to beat me with.

Heroically anonymous and bravely concealed they gleefully seized it.

Then again they think a million Irish people starving to death in the 19th century is hilarious.

One day we’ll find a cure…

Although I think that depression will be easier to erase from the human condition before Unsurpassed Dignity is just a nasty memory.

I know only too well the bone-crushing sadness and utter exhaustion that depression can drop on you from nowhere.

Now I have an early warning system in place.

The people around me and I have a deal.

If they think I’m slipping downwards they point it out and if I detect the start of a depression I reach out to them.

The statistics for male suicide on this island over the last thirty years have provided a grisly body of evidence that men are bad at reaching out.

I’m in a better place now than I have been in my entire adult life, but I know that depression lies in wait like a mugger.

Perhaps the brain that can produce sold out stage plays has to harbour depression as a sort of creative collateral damage.

Whatever the reason it is part of me.

I spent long enough denying it was there.

That was why going public in 2010 for Amnesty was a huge decision.

If I created the conditions whereby ONE person feels ok about reaching out then it was worth all of the effluent of abuse that poured in here and across social media.

So today, of all days, please have a heightened awareness about these issues

If you’re worried about someone in your life then trust your instincts.

Now, if you’re concerned about YOU then please please reach out.

Speak about what is troubling you to anyone that you trust.

It doesn’t have to be a mental health professional.

Rusty just loving greeted the chap from An Post.

Right on cue, I just received this in the mail.

 

I got it with a view to passing it onto a dear dear friend who has just started on a regime of anti-depressants.

When I have read it I will send it to her with my thoughts on the efficacy of the advice contained within Ms Wehrenberg’s work.

It is my intention to be part of my friend’s recovery as best I can be, because she has certainly been there for me in the past.

This is a job for all of us.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.