Thursday, 2 February 2017

Time to talk 2017... Belated

I think one of the themes of Time to Talk day this year is losing friends with relation to mental health difficulties. A day late, I figured it was worth a post to my underutilised blog.

One of the things that affects almost everyone is drift. Over time we lose the closeness we've had with friends of old. When one has experienced mental ill health, this drift can feel more personal, especially in a world with social media.

That said, there are people who react badly to the mental ill health of a friend, to the point of cutting ties or deliberately drifting. This can be especially true where ill health prompts unhealthy or unusual behaviours.

This process can feel very personal when someone is already experiencing poor mental health but ultimately is a sign of weakness in the friendship or, more likely, of unchallenged stigma and a lack of understanding from that friend. That realisation doesn't stop the hurt caused however.

So please, if a friend (or colleague) presents with unusual or unhealthy behaviours, consider that they might need your support. Don't turn your back simply because you may feel uncomfortable. Do whatever you are able to in order to help, and make some time to learn about mental ill health and how you can support those in need.

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