20 Years of Mental Health: From Silence to Support

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Posted 149 days ago
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20 Years of Mental Health: From Silence to Support

Written by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

20 years ago, it was normal to keep your emotions hidden. Those who did talk about their mental health often felt like they could only share it with family or close friends.

 

Fast forward to 2023, and things are very different. Teenagers and young adults are seeing a profound change in how society perceives, supports and celebrates mental health.

 

10th October is World Mental Health Day, so let’s look at the ways mental health visibility is changing, and why this matters.

 

2003-2023: Two Decades of Changing Attitudes

In the early 2000s, talking about feeling sad or worried was frowned upon. People didn’t want to admit they were struggling with their emotions because they feared what others might think.

 

Poor mental health was often misunderstood or not taken seriously. Awareness has since improved, and we know that your mind needs just as much care as your body. We understand the importance of looking after your thoughts and feelings, and that it’s ok to talk about feeling sad or anxious.

 

Crucially, we now know that struggling with your emotions isn’t something to hide or be ashamed of.

 

Celebrities and Mental Health

Celebrities have started breaking down the taboo around mental health by speaking openly about their own journeys.

 

Demi Lovato has become a vocal mental health campaigner following her own experience of addiction, disordered eating and depression. Lovato that being diagnosed with bipolar disorder was a relief, and shared her experience in the hope that her honesty might help others.

 

Actor Ryan Reynolds has a lifelong struggle with anxiety. Despite partying heavily and using self-medication to cope in the past, he has now found healthier ways to take care of his mental health. Lady Gaga, who has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mantras, meditations and medication to manage her symptoms.

 

By sharing their own stories, celebs have shown that mental illness can affect anyone, and it’s ok to ask for help.

 

Social Media to the Rescue

Social media gives us space to talk about our feelings with people who understand. Even if it seems impossible to talk to someone you know, the online world can provide a safe space to express yourself.

 

With hashtags like #MentalHealthMatters, #SelfCare and #MentalWellness, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have become places to share how you feel, rather than keeping it all inside. Finding people who care and understand is like having a team of friends who are always there to support you.

 

Final Thoughts

In 2023, your mental health no longer needs to be a secret. We can talk more openly, take inspiration from celebrities who have struggled with their emotions, and lean on social media for support.

 

It’s ok if things don’t always feel right or you need support – there are lots of people and resources out there to help you take care of your body and mind. By raising awareness of mental health, we will end the outdated culture of silence around emotional wellbeing.

Posted by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

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