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#1 - Ruling Out Mental Health Stigma!

#1 - Ruling Out Mental Health Stigma!

How’s Ur Head? #HUH

As I sit here and type my very first article, I know and accept that I am not a writing expert, a mental health expert or any sort of expert for that matter. I am a normal everyday guy who wants to learn, understand and help spread the message regarding the importance of taking care of your mental health. In today's society there is a stigma around mental health resulting in it being very difficult and awkward for people to reach out and discuss it with their peers.. and this needs to change! I felt that if I put out an article that is a casual and not an exceptionally well written piece of work it would hopefully connect on a more personal and real level.

Being a young 25 year old male it is very tough to watch, experience and hear about tragedies one after the other in relation to young men and women who have taken their own lives after suffering with their mental health. Unfortunately, in the modern world which is saturated with social media, bad news and ridiculous expectations this problem affects everyone in all walks of life. Everyone, no matter how rich, poor, tall, short or what size they may be. Everyone, no matter what race, religion or beliefs that they may have. Humans will experience their own mental health issues and their own battles/ways of working on and with it. To outline the importance of this topic here are some facts from the national alliance of mental illness:

1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6–17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–34

So.. as mentioned I am by no means an expert in the field nor have I studied to deeply into the topic. I wanted to (poorly) write this short article to convey the message that it is more than okay to talk about how you feel with family and friends or whoever you feel comfortable speaking with. For those of you who may have family or friends approach you with the topic please keep three things top of mind:

  1. Just be there to listen and embrace.
  2. Don’t be a 1-upper. You don’t need to counter with how bad your day was or how bad your problems are. Let them express themselves and get it off their chest as it is a very difficult thing to do. Re-read #1 above.
  3. Be understanding and offer as much love and support as you possibly can.

To conclude - Let’s make it normal, let’s make it casual and let’s express how we feel and not feel silly or embarrassed about it in the slightest. I intend to keep writing and expressing myself through these articles and also through HUHClothing, a clothing brand I have founded which raises awareness surrounding the importance of this topic. From each sale our profits go directly to mental health organisations around the world and another customer proudly wears “HUH” in the form of hoodies, t-shirts, hats etc. To conclude reach out to a friend or family member this week and ask them “How’s Ur Head?” and let’s get the conversation started. GO!

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