Julie Huggan, Online Information Development Worker, Health in Mind
I joined Health in Mind, a Scottish mental health charity based in Edinburgh, last year because I feel very strongly about improving the lives of those affected by mental health issues.
Through my own personal experience as a young person with anxiety and depression, one of the key issues I found was a lack of discussion surrounding mental health. I struggled to talk to my family and friends about the issues I was facing due to the unhealthy stigma that’s unfortunately still attached to mental health. I didn’t want to be labelled as having a mental health issue and, at the same time, was scared that no-one would believe the severity of my feelings. Taking that first step and speaking to someone was an incredibly scary experience. However, once I did, I realised that I wasn’t alone and that there is help and support out there. I hope that campaigns like Time to Talk, and the work we do at Health in Mind – promoting positive mental health and wellbeing – will make it easier for people to share their feelings and find the right support for them.
At Health in Mind, we realise that talking about mental health can be difficult, but it is important to find at least one person who you feel comfortable enough with to have open conversations about your mental health – whether that’s a friend, family member, fellow student, tutor or health professional. If you don’t feel able to talk to someone you know then remember you are never alone. You can always call the Samaritans, Breathing Space or a number of other fantastic listening services.
You can find more information about listening services and local support through Edspace – one of the services that I work on. Edspace is an online source of mental health and wellbeing information for those living in Edinburgh. This is a great resource full of information about local services, group and events, as well as self-help guides and fact sheets. This information service can empower you to take the next step to improving your mental health and wellbeing. Please visit www.edspace.org.uk to find out more.
Thursday 7 February may be Time to Talk day, but we want you to remember that we should all find time every day to talk about our mental health.
To find out more about Health in Mind and our services visit www.health-in-mind.org.uk, follow us on social media or visit us at Edinburgh College’s Time to Talk Day event.
You can call the Samaritans on 116 123
Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87