Today is World Mental Health Day. And with tackling mental health being a cause close to my heart – to a lot of our hearts at 2CV – I wanted to take some time to think about what the key issues facing the world of mental health are today. But when I really thought about it, I found myself reflecting more on the progress that has been made in the mental health space in the last few years.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still a long way to go to tackle the UK’s mental health crisis, but when I think about now compared to 2-3 years ago, the conversation around mental health has grown, evolved and progressed in so many amazing ways.
I think this rapid progress is down to a couple of key factors. One of these is the fact that there has been a people-driven movement in the UK to start more conversations around mental health.
But there is one other key driving force that shows that creating change is always possible when supporting a cause close to the public’s heart - and that comes from charities. There is no doubt that over the last few years mental health charities have played a huge role in the progress that we have made in the mental health space, and this comes down to the multifaceted role they play in the cause…
They engage with mental health policy to keep it evolving
Mental health charities like Mind, YoungMinds, Rethink Mental Illness and many, many, more, work tirelessly to keep the momentum of change going. They regularly respond to policy changes, announcements and reports – not only highlighting how they feel about what is being done or said, but by publicly responding, they are also helping to spread this information, to allow us all to become more aware of the changes taking place in the mental health space.
They make people the heart of the work they do
Charities listen to us, to those struggling with their mental health, to those around people struggling with their mental health – to anyone who cares about tackling this issue. Charity websites often give people the space to write blogs or stories to share their experiences and journeys with mental health, helping people to feel heard and show that they are not alone. People’s voices and opinions are at the heart of the work that they do, to help drive change that will impact people in a meaningful way.
They invest in mental health education and support
Education and understanding have been a key part of the work that mental health charities do. Charities such as Mind conduct hugely insightful and impactful research to help us better understand the mental health landscape – not just so that they can help provide the right support to everyone, but also to further educate us all on the scale of the issue and what we can do to help ourselves and help others.
Hugely useful advice and support is provided on the websites of mental health charities. It’s free and accessible to us all, allowing anyone who wants to, or needs to be able to, understand how to help themselves or others, how to talk about mental health, and how to support the cause.
The recent progress that has been made around mental health awareness, support and policy is truly astounding when I think about the timescale in which it has taken place. It shows the real impact that charities can have when they work towards a common goal that is supported by public opinion. It also continues to highlight the relevance of the work that we do, listening to people and understanding their behaviour to help drive meaningful change.