Mental Health is a Universal Human Right

post by Si Martin

October, 10 2023

4 minute read

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is: “mental health is a universal human right”, so Si’s shared some thoughts around this idea!

You can watch the video below, or – as ever – you can read along underneath.

If the YouTube link doesn’t load, you can watch it directly on YouTube by clicking here.

Regardless of your race, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, or age: you are important. You are loved. You are valued. And you are worthy of getting support for your mental health. Access to mental health support is a universal human right.

A study by the charity Mind found that a third of people aged 16+ in the UK don’t make space to talk about mental health in their day. And almost half of the respondents said that their reason for fewer conversations is that everyone is struggling right now and they don’t want to burden others.”

But whoever you are, and whatever you’re facing, it’s worth getting support for.

I’ll never forget telling a good friend of mine that my problems weren’t big or heavy enough to bother them with, when they had their own stuff going on. But her response was so simple yet so profound. If it’s a big deal to you, then it’s worth doing something about. And that’s kinda all there is to it.

If something is making you feel heavy. If something is making you miserable, then it’s worth doing something about it. You are important enough. And it’s your right as a human to get support when you’re struggling with your mental health.

The more we talk. The more we normalise conversations about mental health, the easier it becomes for people to spot the signs they’re struggling with mental ill health. And, just as importantly, the easier it is to ask for help when you spot those signs.

Sharing this video is an easy way to help start conversations, so I’d love it if you could hit that share button!

Conversation is one thing. But you want actions. That’s where the real magic is. Here’s 3 things you can do if you find yourself in a bad headspace.

Give it a name

Try to actually pinpoint exactly what it is that you’re feeling. Give it a name. So that rather than “I feel rubbish” – which is hard to do something about. It becomes “I feel frustrated” Which is easier to do something about.

If you’re playing along at home, and you want some bonus points, try to pinpoint the source of that feeling too. For example, I’m frustrated by X. When Y happens, I feel like Z.

Writing it down is a really tangible way to help identify those feelings.

Find things that help with those feelings

Find things that help with those specific feelings What helps you when you’re feeling numb won’t necessarily help you when you’re feeling frustrated. So it’s important to have a few things in your toolbox to deal with the range of emotions that you’re gonna feel. Luckily, you can go to hatw.co.uk; click on “things to try”; and then choose how you’re feeling. And it’ll give you a bunch of options for stuff that’s helped someone else in the past. If it worked for them, it can work for you!

A screen shot of the "Things to Try" page on the Heads Above The Waves website. A drop down menu says "I am feeling.. angry/frustrated". and some suggestions of coping strategies are laid out below.

Be the one who goes and looks for help.

I wish we were in a world where everyone is regularly checking in with the people around them. But, for a bunch of reasons, we’re not. So sometimes you’re gonna need to be the one who makes that first move. Honestly, it doesn’t need to be much. Sometimes it’s just throwing your hands in the air and saying “I’m not coping right now”. Or when someone says “y’alright?” actually answer with how you’re really feeling.

And if you’re someone watching this who’s maybe worried about a friend, be the one who starts the conversation about mental health. Ask them how they’re doing. How they’re REALLY doing. Invite them along to social events. And don’t give up on them.Literally just.. be there, on their side. That can make more of a difference than you even realise.

So there you go.

No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, you 100% are worthy of happiness kindness, and support for your mental health. And remember, if you’re feeling down: give those feelings a name, find ways to deal with those feelings, and be the one who goes looking for help.

And know that Heads Above The Waves is on your side.

Stay rad.

If you found this helpful

We need your help to keep on being there for young people who are struggling with their mental health. The way we fund our work is through our merch with a message!



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