Our capacity to congratulate ourselves on what, from a particular perspective, was the enactment of progressive social legislation seems in direct proportion to the difficulties faced by those who campaigned for divorce, marriage equality or abortion. Those were, in the not so long ago, taboo subjects. There remains a taboo subject that, because we are so slow to confront it much less talk openly about it continues to do immeasurable harm. As Monday marks the start of World Mental Health Week we have a opportunity to change that.
There are many reasons for a mental illness and most of them can be resolved. In today’s hyper-fast, time-poor world loneliness is increasingly a catalyst for such an illness. The CEO of Mental Health Ireland, Martin Rogan recently suggested that if we encouraged human connection we would reduce loneliness and, in turn, reduce mental illnesses.
Anyone who suffered from a mental illness, and every time you are in a room with even five people you are with one, will confirm that the sense of isolation, the sense of being abandoned is consistent and sometimes overpowering. This need not be as even the briefest, fleeting moment of warmth, the smallest gesture of kindness can seem a lifeline to an individual passing through a dark episode. Those in that difficulty need not be reticent either as that adage, a problem shared is a problem halved, is as true as ever it was.
Speak up and step out of the darkness.