A message from my sister
As World Mental Health day was on the horizon I thought it would be an appropriate time to write a few paragraphs for www.fortycubed.co.uk, to highlight and raise awareness of mental health and to remind me and the lovely friends and family who have agreed to do our bit for @fortycubed and raise our £1k for MIND, why this is so important.
When I made that plan I had no idea how poignant and relevant this post would be. So sadly one of my son’s friends took his life on Saturday. Even writing that today, less than 48 hours after my son told me, seems surreal. He was 15.
That stark information is so powerful and fits too neatly into the statistics. We know men are more likely to complete suicide, we know the rates seem to be on the rise and we know it is often related to the turmoil that comes with mental ill health. We also know we need to talk more and in the words of one mental health charity’s post in relation to male suicide – we need to stop manning up and find the strength to talk.
However, there is often a reluctance within our society to demonstrate our vulnerability; how many of us have tried not to wipe our eyes in the dark of the cinema at a film designed to elicit emotion? How many of us have apologised for tearing up, asking for a tissue, having to take a moment to compose ourselves? How many of us have stopped short of telling someone close to us that we love them? Or a friend how important they are and that you are glad they are in your life? How many of us have said ‘don’t be silly’ or ‘there is no need for that’ when someone has started to cry or expressed anxiety? How many of us have sent an emoji rather than saying the words in person?
I have no idea if this would have made a difference for my son’s friend. And we have to accept we cannot change that, but we can hope that each time we talk and demonstrate our vulnerability as humans we open the door for others to talk; to feel understood, listened to and validated; to know they are not alone - and then be able to entertain that hope that things can be different. They could even be good.
I am very proud to support MIND.