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As some of you may know, it has been Mental Health Awareness Week this past week in the UK. I wasn’t sure whether to send this newsletter out as, having posted something on the subject on my Instagram feed I noticed that handful of my followers fell away. I thought yikes, what was contained in my lighthearted, innocent little post to have such an affect ? Apart from feeling sad that I had obviously not got across to people that we should be uniting together to help others rather than turning away from talking opening about a topic some may find uncomfortable. I have to admit that I felt intimidated, a wee bit down-hearted and so shelved my post to you guys.

That force of social media is so powerful and it stopped me dead in my tracks and made me want to run for cover. But, that is exactly why we have Mental Health Awareness Week isn’t it, to highlight that we should not be afraid to talk about it but to normalise this part of us which we all have in common and for conversations to flow freely. Our mental wellbeing is just another element of our over all health and wellness after all.

We are all to often happy to discuss our physical health with anyone we bump into while we are going about our daily life, in the Doctors waiting room, while we hover in line to pick up a takeaway cuppa etc… We all chat away about our niggling aches and pains but no one dares to say “my head is not in a good space right now, can you stop and listen to me for a minute”, and so I hope you don’t mind that I am posting this blog today so that we all keep pushing to make this area open for discussion.

I write this in support of everyone out there living daily with the challenges that struggling mental health brings to you. Please hear me when I say that you are not alone, be brave, reach out, there is someone there to listen to you, always.

In a world where we are all too often reminded via social media, on the news and radio, on billboards, in newspapers and online, in fact all around us, of the terrors that one human can inflict upon another, we are rarely reminded of the good people that live amongst us too. Even if it may seem difficult identifying which ears are open to us, and they can be hiding in the most unsuspecting of places, over a garden fence for example, or on a bus journey, even waiting in a queue, there are amazing sets of ears all over the place, non-judgemental, caring, supportive, warm-hearted, happy to listen and give you the time and space to unravel things in your mind, so don’t be afraid to speak out when you feel you can.

For anyone who is affected by somebody who is struggling with mental health and who would like to understand a bit more about living with anxiety and depression on a daily basis then check out Sarah Wilson’s book “First we made the beast beautiful” which really resonates as her writing is so real, raw and genuine you feel her emotions in the pit of your stomach. Any of Ruby Wax’s books are a fascinating read, she is jaw droppingly funny, every line hits home and she is deliciously bonkers, what can I say I identify with her (the “bonkers” bit I mean !).

We all walk along a fine tightrope with our own mental health so be gentle with those around you who may be wobbling at present, you never know when it may be you.

If you have read to the end you are a star and thank you so much for reading. I hope this resonates with you and that you may feel more able to open up the conversation when those around may need your ear. xo