It's almost that time of year again when we talk about mental health awareness. This year's theme is 'Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority' I think that this is a very important message as it isn't an issue that is localised to one group of people or one country and it's truly something that affects many in the human race, or affects those who support somebody dealing with mental health issues.
The wonderful people at the Mental Health Foundation do a much better job than I could detailing this years theme, you can find that here .
I have mentioned in the past that I am a huge advocate for World Mental Health Day and anything else that raises mental health awareness, but I also believe that this is something we should be aware of everyday!
I am fortunate in that I have a support network around me that gets me out of bed each day and helps me to operate enough to be able to work and have some form of life, not everybody is that fortunate and the resources are still nowhere near at the level they should be.
As a veteran who was medically discharged I was fortunate to be placed on the TILS/Op Courage service when I left, this is part of the NHS that deals with veterans, a smaller part of that service is called the complex case team, who are the heroes that deal with me and my particular brand of C-PTSD. I at that time in 2020 had an 8 month wait to be assigned a psychotherapist, when I did though they were truly a real godsend to me.
Back in December 21, I had a pretty major relapse and requested a referral back to the service and my case was again accepted onto the complex case team, I am still waiting for a psychotherapist to be assigned 11 months later, but again am fortunate I have my support around me.
The people who are working at Op Courage are truly some of the best human beings I have ever had the privilege to meet, it makes me sad to hear them apologise each time they call me to check in on me whilst I am waiting, the current situation is not their fault they are just the front line faces that people see. This is a funding and resourcing issue that has only become worse during lockdown as more and more people were affected by mental health issues.
This mental health awareness day I will be writing my annual letter to my MP to raise this issue with them, they will be sympathetic as usual but ultimately I expect that nothing will change because it is an issue that could be solved with money and as we are all acutely aware at the minute there is no money, unless you are a gas, oil or fuel company that is.
Moving forward I will keep talking about mental health, keep trying to remove the unwarranted stigma attached to it and generally just be my usual annoying self until maybe things do indeed improve.
I ask each of you who have read this to the end, look out for those around you and keep in mind that you never know what somebody might be going through in their lives, maybe a kind word or a person to talk to is just what they need to get them through that day.
Look after each other and remember it's ok not to be ok!