Did you know that globally it is estimated that 300 million people suffer from depression? (Source: World Health Organisation, April 2017)
And that is just one of the many mental health problems that people could experience, with mental health problems now estimated to affect one in every four of us in any given year.
Numerous studies have also demonstrated links between creative occupations and people living with mental illness, which is why the Swindon Shuffle has chosen the Swindon branch of Mind as it’s ongoing charity partner, particularly given the mental health problems a sizeable number of the local community suffer from and, sadly, a number of suicides in recent years.
This has also been recently highlighted by the high profile suicides of musicians Chris Cornell and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington.
The Swindon Shuffle will be raising money for the Swindon branch at all the events we run throughout the year, like our monthly quizzes, as well as at the festival itself, but aside from raising (much welcomed) funds there is one easy thing we can all do to help people who suffer from mental health problems.
There has long been an unfair stigma associated with mental health problems leaving a lot of people to suffer in silence for fear of being ridiculed, which normally makes problems worse.
However, important steps to address this have been taken in the last few years through high profile suffers talking publically about their mental health problems, like Rizzle Kicks’ Harley Alexander-Sule who suffers from General Anxiety Disorder that has meant the hip-hop duo had to cancel gigs at times, and also prompted Jordan Stephens (the other half of the duo) to launch an anti-stigma campaign to raise awareness surrounding mental health issues in young people.
So if we all talk regularly, and more openly and honestly, about mental health challenges, how we feel and any problems we are facing, this will continue to help improve everyone’s views and understanding of mental health problems, and reduce the isolation many people with problems face, because no one should have to face a mental health problem on their own. This openness will also help to reduce the chance of those problems becoming worse through isolation.
How Can I Learn More About Mental Health Problems?
If you want to learn more about mental health problems Mind have a very useful Information & Support section on their national website to help you better understand all the various types of mental health problems there are, their symptoms and the support available.
By being generally more aware of mental health problems and their symptoms you can help those around you who do suffer, and you could even end up saving someone’s life.
There are also Mental Health First Aid courses available, run by a number of different organisations, which are very useful – we attended one last year and, for example, we learnt that OCD is not the condition everyone who is unnaturally tidy thinks they suffer from, but actually a much worse anxiety disorder whereby a person has uncontrollable and unwelcome negative thoughts, with a compulsion that unless things are done a certain way harm will be caused to them or a loved one.
Is There Support Available For Me If I Suffer From A Mental Health Problem And Need Help?
Yes there is. If you want to seek support or help from the local Mind branch here in Swindon you can call the office on 01793 432031 and speak to a member of staff about picking up a referral form from Sanford House, or you can download a Self Referral form.
Or if you aren’t ready to speak to someone about your mental health problems, but want to understand more, you can visit the Information & Support section on the national Mind website.
Can I Make A Donation To Swindon Mind?
Yes. With everything just said (or written!), financial donations are always welcome by the charity to help fund the advice and support services they provide, and the mental health campaigning they undertake, so the Swindon branch of Mind have a webpage where donations can be made and fundraising campaigns can be set up for the local branch here.