“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Like last year, I intend to devote a healthy chunk of my time to blog posts related to Mental Health, but before I go on it’s also important to note that my blog is not solely for Mental Health and therefore I reserve the right to continue to write about what I like. If it happens to be hedgehogs and unicorns, so be it. I still doubt you’ll get recipes here though. But you never know…
Mental Health is really important. Duh! Well of course Mental Health is important. Just as we often hear the statistics of one in four people suffering from mental illness, it is as important, if not more to remember that four in four people (yes, that’s everyone) has mental health. Mental Health affects us all, just like Physical Health. We can’t run, we can’t hide. Actually all of us (all seven billion of us) has a degree of mental health.
I draw your attention to that because it’s all to easy to get lost in terms and definitions. It’s because Mental Health affects us all, that I want to be writing about it. I also want to be writing about Mental Illness, and unless we look at both then we are doing a disservice to those of us impacted by both.
Mental Health is defined by the World Health Organisation (as good a source as any!) as:
“as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Unfortunately I didn’t find it so easy to find a definition of mental illness, but I’ll create my own (if you don’t mind) based on the commonly understood difference between physical health and physical illness.
” Mental Illness is a lack of the well-being stated above”
I’ve often read that some think that if we write about Mental Health, then we are ignoring those with Mental Illness. We’re even stigmatising them. I don’t believe that. Oh, and if we write about Mental Illness then we are ignoring Mental Health and being too negative. I don’t believe that either.
I will be writing about both Mental Health and Mental Illness, because I believe that both discussions are crucial to the well-being of our community (I mean the world). We can’t have one without the other. But wouldn’t it be great if Mental Illness was so well addressed that we could focus more on health? But like with Physical Illness there will always be the tonsils that need removing and there will always be people born with incurable diseases.
One last thought. It is possible (in my mind) to have both Mental Health and Mental Illness. I’d rather not have Mental Illness, but I do. Fact! And it’s here to stay. And I’m not going to hide from it. But I also have my own degree of Mental Health, and that is something that always gives me hope.
“I’ve always thought of wholeness and integration as necessary myths. We’re fragmented beings who cement ourselves together, but there are always cracks. Living with the cracks is part of being, well, reasonably healthy.”
― Siri Hustvedt, The Sorrows of an American
- Blog For Mental Health 2014 (canvasoftheminds.com)