Mental health: we are more than a trend
Amelia-Eve Warden, founder of P&C PR, influencer and activist, discusses how igniting these important conversations around mental health is priority, over breaking the stigma
Mental health is one of the most talked about topics in the press. You may be aware of certain key dates, like World Mental Health Day and Blue Monday, fixating on the need to speak up, address, and seek particular services and charities to help those that are struggling - but, is the media trend-setting mental health?
You see, until we see the swarm of Instagram stories with quotes, or the spam of tweets across our feed telling people to check in on their loved ones, do we really acknowledge the importance of mental health until it’s discussed globally?
Statistics show that 52% of young people in the LGBTQ+ community have self-harmed, and as an LGBTQ+ influencer and activist, I feel a sense of responsibility to give support to each and every person that goes out of their way to engage with me on my platforms. From previous mental health campaigns I’ve run with LGBTQ+ celebrities, I’m always looking for new ways to connect to a wider audience, because mental health is an everyday struggle.
So I did. Whether you are a relative, friend, or stranger, I run a Mental Health Monday (MHM) talk every week on my Instagram. I run a poll or live video checking in with all my followers, asking how everyone’s day is going with the options of: “Great” or “I’m struggling”, those that click the “I’m struggling” option, I reach out to.
I first launched this initiative in September as a test. As an individual that struggles, and as someone that is very open about their worries and issues, I find talking one of the strongest tools to help with my progression. Also as an individual that has realised that most of my friends struggle daily too, it made me wonder: what about the 15,000 people that follow me on my social media? What about them? Who checks in on them?
Mental Health Monday so far has reached out to over 2,000 people in the space of four weeks. Taking on this huge engaging task has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Hearing some people open up about their lives, their worries, their anxieties, to some just wanting a simple “how are you?” and general chit-chat, is an amazing way to really understand how us young people tick. We were born into a generation that has to position their lives as all rainbows, smiles and materialism and it’s heartbreaking. We all know that is never the case. So I had to connect the dots, and really get under the skin of my followers.
I have spoken with people all over the country as well as people in Canada, France, Spain, and I’ve even been invited to Brazil, India and Dubai. The positive feedback I get from just a simple message is huge and often unexpected. A single message… that is all I do - weekly. Five minutes of my day could save a life, could make someone’s day, and not only that, I’ve made global friends.
Strugglers are so petrified to open up face-to-face, and with this generation glued to technology, I morphed the two to create a social network of amazing supportive friends.
It is so important to start these conversations so we can genuinely start to understand each other. Breaking the mental health stigma will come naturally, the more we talk. I intend to certainly make this bigger, with a team of people to assist me, because the more we do, the more we will bring those barriers down: as a global empire.
Really at the end of the day, all we need is a simple “hello”.
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