There’s a few reasons really. The most important reason is that I want to help to increase mental health awareness. I want people to be aware that mental illnesses are real, and that, just like with physical illnesses, those suffering with a mental illness, need help. The stigma around mental health is beginning to change, but there is still so much stigma around. I’ve also seen how many people’s attitudes towards mental illness change depending on the context in which they are faced. When in front of someone with a mental illness, I’ve seen people acting very cautiously and almost as if they pity the person. Whereas, the same people, when in front of their family or friends, in fact have referred to those with mental illnesses as being ‘crazy’, ‘weird’, or a ‘psycho’. It’s actually ‘crazy’ to think that this negative association of mental illness still exists today. The reality is that around 1 in 4 of us has a mental illness. Those statistics are actually serious. It means that we all know several people with a mental illness, but may not even realise it.
Because of the negative stigma around mental illness, many people with a mental illness keep it hidden. They may appear happy and as if they are ‘fine’, but they may actually be putting on a front, smiling just for the sake of others, and simply ‘getting on with things’ to avoid confronting the truth.
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