Reading through my local newspaper this week, I came across a very interesting and topical subject.
The headline read. ‘It’s okay to not be okay’ says trucker.’
Michael Klimek, who after trying to desperately seek help for his own anxiety, depression and panic disorder, set up a Facebook support group for men suffering from mental health problems. Michael now runs the private Facebook group ‘The Stable Man’ with the help of other men including his brother –in- law Keelan Genders.
I say well done Mr Klimek and to everyone who is helping to support both men and women with this rapidly growing problem.
It takes a lot of courage to open up about personal issues such as mental health. Too often, men have the perception that they must not be seen as weak and therefore suffer in silence. Some for many years.
Who doesn’t remember how moving it was, when Prince Harry bravely spoke out about his own emotional shutdown, following the death of his mother? Since then, many more public figures and celebrities have opened up about their own experience with mental health issues.
We still have a very long way to go in terms of bridging the difference between the public perceptions of physical and mental illness, when clearly from a holistic perspective they go hand in hand.
It is good to hear that the government are now addressing the issues around how employers should address depression and mental health issues with the same compassion as they would with physical illness.
Having worked for the NHS for over forty years, during which time I was involved with mental health problems alongside physical health issues, it is good to know that at long last mental health is moving away from being the Cinderella service.
In my own small way, by writing books such as Alice and Love, Secrets, And Absolution I hope to help raise awareness of the struggles that some people and their families have to cope with on a daily basis.
Both of these books are fictional stories about gritty, true to life situations against the background of mental health issues.
Both still available from Amazon and other outlets.