So that’s it. Mental Health Awareness Week is officially over for another year. But that is not to say that we can all just forget about the issues surrounding mental health, particularly anxiety and stress related disorders.
If anything, the real work starts now. This last week has been incredibly informative. I hope that by reading the blog and following other social media sites we have all become a little more aware of anxiety as an illness. We should be able to recognise it, not just within ourselves but also in others; our family members, our colleagues, our friends and our neighbours.
Suffering from anxiety is not a badge of shame. If anything, this week should have taught us that we all, at some point in our lives, will be afflicted with this condition. Being aware of it, being able to sympathise and empathise with those affected, and to help them – even if that is merely to sit quietly with them while they break down before you – is a real gift we should all be able to give.
I would like to thank each and every one of you who has read the blog over the last week and who has taken the time to share, tweet, like and comment on the last seven days of posts. I would especially like to thank Jaspreet Tehara and Ben Stevens for sharing their own thoughts and experiences of anxiety with us.
Also, to my anonymous writer who shared their own personal trauma of coping with anxiety. It is a brave thing to share and I hope one day you will allow me to reveal who you are. Until then, though, thank you.
Finally, I would implore all of you reading this to speak up and accept mental illness. Do not stigmatise it and those that suffer from it’s cruel and debilitating effects. Support them. You never know when you might need it yourself.