The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

10/10/2017 11:44 BST | Updated 10/10/2017 11:44 BST

Your mental health should be looked after. But when you suffer from a mental illness, it is a very difficult task to control and conquer. Even more so as it is often brushed aside and ignored. One problem with mental illness is that, in most cases, you can't see it. Sufferers have to paint a smile and pretend that everything is fine when it's the exact opposite, like I did. When you're at your worst and you're surrounded by people, your only choice is to pretend that everything is OK.

Recently, I spoke to the Huffington Post about a recent study about young people's mental health. I talked about how my depression affected me and mental health in young people in general. Most people around my age are or were at university and when I was a student, I felt a lot of pressure to succeed and I always brought myself down because I didn't think I did well. I always despondent and my lack of self-belief made me worse and worse. The pressures of being a young university student is getting higher and higher and more and more students are struggling to cope.

The struggle for getting a job also impacts on young people's mental health. Nowadays, from my perspective, it is difficult for young people to get a good job and work their way up the ladder, whether you have a degree or no qualifications at all. The longer you are unemployed, the more you have to rely on benefits, and the more you struggle to rub two pennies together. You lose hope and you feel there will be nothing there for you.

During my chat about the aforementioned study, I also talked about the NHS. I believe the mental health services in the NHS is struggling immensely. Some people wait months or even years just for one appointment. Considering how much of a detrimental state the NHS is in as a whole right now because of unnecessary cuts and staff shortages, the NHS and those who need vital help with their mental health were always going to struggle. The NHS is supposed to help those who are suffering, but how can it when it is so ridiculously underfunded? Mental health sufferers would have no choice but to fend for themselves, no matter how desperate they are for the best possible treatment from the best possible source. It's not fair on them and it's not fair on the doctors, nurses and carers who are supposed to and want to look after them.

Sufferers of depression, anxiety and suchlike in severe cases believe that their illness is incurable. They believe that they can never be happy again. I thought that myself and I couldn't have been any more wrong. With help from your friends, your family and the NHS, it is conquerable. You'll gradually regain self-confidence and hope and you begin to believe that you can get better. There's nothing wrong with saying that you're not well and opening up to your loved ones, therapists and doctors. By talking about it, you will be surrounded by people who care about you and want the very best for you to get better.

Mental health awareness is extremely important. Not just for people who are suffering now. Anyone can be mentally ill at some point in their lives. For mental health awareness to succeed, there needs to be more people talking about it. There is a huge stigma and there shouldn't have been one in the first place. All you're doing is talking about how you are feeling. If you have any other kind of illness, you would tell a doctor your symptoms. How is suffering from a mental illness different? It isn't. But the stigma wrongly forces sufferers to be silent.

The reason why there is a stigma in the first place is because a lot of people are saying sufferers are just loopy or depression doesn't exist or it's something you can just run off. Why would anyone list to them when you can truly learn a lot more about mental illness from people who actually went through it all? The more people open up about their struggles and the more people want others to open up to show they care, the better it will be.