I don’t usually do reblogs, but today is World Mental Health Day and I think it is important that we think about the difficulties associated with a) Contending with a mental illness in the first place and b) Then having to contend with the stigma and the appalling misunderstanding bestowed upon those who admit to having mental conditions.
I particularly like this blog from Robin Ince because it is something everyone can relate to. We are all guilty of sighing when we’re told our Tube journey is delayed because of ‘a person under the train’, because it is easier for us to think about it as an inconvenience than to remember the fact that, in many cases, this was a human being who may have been going through any number of mental conditions. No matter how fleeting or chronic, mental illness can affect anyone, and we need to start being kinder to those brave enough to speak up and get the help they so desperately need.
Something written in the doorway of the delayed train at Platform 4 of Northampton Station.
Before I had even reached the station, I knew today’s journey to Birmingham would be sluggish at best. A kindly neighbour had already offered a lift to London after telling me someone had been hit by a train, a suicide in Harrow. After many years of mental training and a move out of London, now I can manage not to curse my luck, the trains and the clumsy or suicidal human who has hurled a spanner into my day. I summon my empathy from wherever it is usually hidden.
I am not sure I always succeed, sleepless grumpiness can slice into it. Having left plenty of time to get to Birmingham, and knowing I had oatcakes, water and a 5 books in my rucksack, far worse things have happened and I am not now someone…
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