• James Hewlett

#TimeToTalk


I was at a loss for what to write about this evening so I asked a few friends for prompts. I was ideally looking for something a bit lighter in tone than a lot of my posts have been lately and was thinking about writing about either the second episode of Life Is Strange 2 or my experience solo gaming with Arkham Horror: The Card Game.

I’m sure I will get to both of those soon, but Emma mentioned that tomorrow is #TimeToTalk and despite originally planning on having something less deep, it stuck with me.

I have no idea what #TimeToTalk is, but I trust Emma’s judgement and from the name of it, it sounds like a good cause.

Okay, just checked it out and it is a hashtag/day/event/movement, however you want to phrase it, about talking about mental health issues.

I am so in to this. I think this is a great cause and needs to be promoted.

Talking is essential. Wether you have a face to face conversation, chat via text, write blog post and put it out into the ether or are just playing a video game online with a stranger... don’t be ashamed or afraid to talk about any mental health problems you may be suffering with, or to ask if you think the other person may benefit from talking it out.

Framing something as a mental health problem still seems to carry a level of stigma, especially among the generations older than mine, and that stigma can often lead to people bottling up a lot of things that could be helped if only people felt more comfortable talking about them.

I’m speaking from first hand experience here.

I like to think I’m a fairly open person but I’m sure there have been times when I’ve not said something and it has made a problem worse or helped create a whole knew one. This is only amplified when you have a person who is generally quieter or a person who naturally covers their emotions with a false image.

With everything that has happened with my marriage over the last couple of months I have talked very openly to a few close friends and it has been essential.

I know a lot of other people have been... frustrated doesn’t seem like the right word but it’s all I can think of, with how I’ve not opened up to them but I was very strategic in who I spoke to and I know I absolutely made the right choices.

Since then I’ve talked to more friends and family and that’s been nice too, I drafted out a long email that explained the backstory for everyone who I’ve talked to about everything, just to bring them all up to speed, even writing that was helpful. Since then I’ve been feeling pretty good. To say I’m fine might be a bit of a stretch, but I’m on my way towards that at least.

I was talking to someone yesterday who volunteers for an organisation who provide an evening of fun and games to youth carers; kids who look after family members with physical disabilities or mental conditions. I was blown away by this. It’s not even something I’d thought of before, these kids don’t really get a chance to be kids at all. So they get together these evenings whenever their lousy budget allows so these kids can just hang out with other kids and people who are there to support them.

We don’t think about those people enough. Young or old. The other people effected by mental health issues, not the person afflicted but the people around them, close them, and how it effects their lives too.

I’d like to think that those kids will grow up to be the people who will make real change in the future, I think with the support of volunteers like the person I was talking to that could happen, but if budgets are cut at every opportunity and it isn’t feasible then it could quite easily become a self perpetuating cycle of mental illness and that fucking sucks.

I know I said I wanted to right something with a bit more fluff today but I think this has turned out as one of my better posts in quite a while.

Tomorrow is #TimeToTalk so however you do it, start a conversation with someone about mental health. Cut all the bullshit out. Lose the stigma. Make a difference.

Time To Talk

The official website.

Red Silver Mountains

Emma's blog. She's way better at writing about this stuff than I am!

#mentalhealth #health #talking #friends #friendship #family #help #support #stigma #writingprompt #writing

©2017 by James Hewlett.