Amanda O'Connell: Let's talk... mental health

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Amanda O'Connell (@minds_matter_) was talking about metal health at Scotland.js, these are my notes from her talk.

There's no shame in admitting you have a mental health issue, we should all do it more often.  Almost everyone knows someone who's been affected by mental health issues.

Most people who are diagnosed with depression are female but three times more men die from suicide, the less we talk the worse the problems get.  We don't talk enough about mental health.

One in four will experince a mental health probelm in a year.  Might be minor or major - like physical health.  You can't identify people with mental health issues from how they appear, could be the confident person who is putting on an act - like physical health problems.

Why don't we talk about it.  Ashamed, emabrrased, people will think they're not fit to do job, people will think they're crazy. 

Work can give people a cover, can be a coping mechanism.  People equate mental health problems with loonies, the more we talk about it the more people open up about it.

No health without mental health.  Treating mental health like physical health would break down barriers - like we did with attitudes to cancer.  It's OK to have a mental illness, it's OK to have diabetes.

We all have mental health, we don't all have a mental health problem.  If you're not good in the morning then your mental health won't be as good in the morning.  If you're in a comfortable setting and you're relaxed then you're mental health will be good.  If it's winter we wrap up warm, do similar things to look after your mental health.  Give yourself compliments, you're not just someone who has a mental health problem.

Even if you don't have a problem you need to look after your mental health.