HAPPY HALLOWEEN Y’ALL!
I wanted to write a blog post inspired by a spooky film, but I realised a long time ago that I get scared WAY too easily and have to leave all the lights on for like.. a week. (Seriously; even those Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes scared me as a kid)
So I gave up pretty quickly on watching scary movies to find a positive bit for inspiration. And went to a classic in Ghostbusters.
But my being a big ole scaredey cat got me thinking.
What scares me about these movies? It’s often my over active imagination making me think that the very worst is gonna happen.
That’s why we’re often scared to talk about mental health. We’re worried we might say the wrong thing, or that people might have a bad reaction.
So that’s why we gotta treat stigma like Ghostbusters treat spooky ghosts. “We came. We saw. We kicked it’s ass!”
We want everyone to be able to reach out for help and for people to feel confident in supporting a pal when they ask for help. So we can look back in a few years time and say “heck yeah. We kicked stigma’s ass”
The truth is, reaching out and talking about mental health might seem scary, but there’s a whole bunch of scary films that are way scarier.
So how can you help make it less scary?
Remember how I turn on all the lights after watching Paranormal Activity? That helps cuz it means there’s no dark corners where my imagination can run wild about what might be in the dark. My challenge to you is to turn some metaphorical lights on. The more honest and open conversations you can have about mental health and positive ways of coping, the more you’re gonna be drawing from experience of how it’s gone in the past, rather than your imagination of how it might go. (Or how it might go wrong!)
Turning those lights on might also mean educating yourself or the people around you about different areas concerning mental health. It might be that they’re afraid to speak up or support someone because they just don’t understand. We’ve got some straight up advice about that HERE.
It can also sometimes seem scary to be the first one to speak up or reach out, so if you’re in a place where you feel able to – why not be the one to take that first step? Or share your experience? One of the scary parts about struggling with something like depression is the feeling that you’re alone. So the next challenge for you this week is to be brave and have an honest conversation about a time you’ve struggled. Chances are, someone’s gonna be grateful that you’ve spoken up first, and it’ll seem less scary for them to bring up something that’s on their mind.
If there’s one thing that I’ve picked up from the handful of horror movies I’ve made it through, it’s that things usually go wrong when the group decides to split up. As humans, we’ve evolved to be social creatures; looking out for each other & being stronger as a group than we are on our own. So find a group of people who build you up and let you be the best version of yourself you can be. Look out for the people around you. And if you don’t feel confident in having a big talk about mental health, just be there for them and with them. Do things that you both enjoy, or even just things that’ll be a nice distraction. Maybe even watching old horror films if that’s your bag! (Not me though; give me a good Love Actually any day)
Ultimately, even the smallest of steps towards tackling stigma make it easier for people to get the help they need. If you can do any of the 3 ideas above, then you’re making a difference.
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