How it all started
Hi, my name's George and I'm the founder of How Mental.
It's hard to say exactly when mental health first entered my life. I guess the point is that it's always been there. But I can safely say my mind has been pushed to its limits since I was a child...
My dad was physically and verbally abusive. I guess he'd say it was out of love.
My grandad suffered from Alzheimer's Disease. I guess he'd say...well, he couldn't say much as he eventually lost the ability to speak...
These situations had such a dramatic effect on me and my family, that I soon learned there is nothing more important than taking care of my mental health before facing the world.
Recently, I've faced depression and anxiety as an entrepreneur, leading me to suicidal tendencies on several occasions. One of which involved getting hit by a motorbike and ending up in hospital.
To a certain extent, I wish my mum never had to read that last paragraph. But if I don't speak out: Who will?
Every time I've found myself lost and confused, wondering what it is I'm here on Earth to do, it always comes back to helping others.
If there's one thing I understand more than most; it's emotion. I've done the whole "put on a brave face" thing. I've done the whole breakdown-in-front-of-people-I-don't-even-know thing.
Now, it's time we take a systematic approach to mental health that ensures everyone is able to reach the help they need. Preferably before they even need it!
This can only begin by opening up the conversation. Of course, stigma is certainly decreasing (at least in the West): But it's still far from gone.
In Government...I mean, has anyone seen Donald Trump lately? 😉
In all seriousness, How Mental is here to bring The Mental Health Movement together. Because one strong, cohesive message is much more effective than a fragmented series of attempts.
So, what's the plan?
Every single one of you has a story to share. A unique set of experiences that have taught you how to overcome seemingly seismic difficulties.
We all know the cost of facing our struggles alone. That's why the first step to creating a stigma-free society is to:
By representing yourself as part of the Mental Health Movement in your everyday actions, you can inspire others to come forward about that little voice in their heads. Once that happens, you can take the second step:
By providing people with access to information about mental health before they go through something, you can set up an important baseline understanding of the mind. This takes away a lot of the confusion around a crisis and ensures people can take step three:
Knowing how to help yourself or support someone else going with mental health problems without a) Smothering them or b) Making them feel even worse (yep, you know what I'm talking about) can make all the difference. Especially when health services take time to react...
I am mental
Being mental isn't a sign of weakness. And it's not different. To me, it's absolutely normal.
In fact, knowing that we all suffer in our own way allows us to empathise with each other. This is especially important in an age where we like to think we're so individual and different from the rest: When the truth is, we're all part of the human race.
For this reason, I'm happy to hold my hands up and say just how mental I am. How mental society is. And how mental this life is!
So, let's make sure everyone out there gets to live a mentally healthy life: Together. ❤️