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How to use your mental heath experiences to help others

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Mental Health has always been a subject of conversation, in both a positive and negative light, formed through a constantly developing world.

As taboos around mental health are slowly disregarded and left in the past where they belong, we hear more and more from inspiring individuals with stories of their own experiences. The significant impact these stories have had on our societies demonstrates the influence and power that honesty and bravery can have on creating developments of a forward-thinking nature.

So, why is mental health advocacy of such profound importance? Ultimately, this nation is experiencing a mental health crisis, especially when it comes to the effects on young people. As stated by the BBC, the education sector is very much risking "failing a generation", due to a lack of communication between health services and the education sector, particularly within UK universities. 

Undoubtedly, there is very much a crisis in regards to the amount of funding available for those in need of mental health support. To make the situation worse, the mental health of the general population is not being taken seriously enough by either the government or a significant number of members of the public who have not had experiences relating to mental health issues.

This leads us to the topic of what can be done to change this mindset and enable mental health services to receive increased support to ensure that there is a way out of this disturbing crisis of the 21st century.

Communication has always been an important aspect of this whole situation, as negative communication skills enable a negative approach, and who wins then? No one.

That is why it is so important to take on the role of a mental health advocate and work to ensure this vicious cycle is terminated. As a result of people speaking up about their own mental health experiences and training the country on how to communicate and understand those around them, there is an impactful opportunity available for mental health to be fully respected and supported.

How can you be an advocate?

All it takes is passion and determination to succeed. Even if it just talking to a loved one about mental health or speaking openly on social media. Every act is a step in the right direction!

Some suggestions which may be of use:

1. Blog about your experiences.

2. Fundraise/volunteer for a mental health charity or campaign.

3. Be active in your mental health advocacy through social media.

4. Get involved through your school/college/university or workplace.

5. Contribute in other ways and utilise other aspects of the media.

There are many ways to help, far more than can be indicated through this piece. However, the most prominant piece of advice is to never doubt your advocacy. The smallest discussion has the influnce to save a life and to play a major part in a larger picture, that being the desire to make a difference within a society that has never needed it more than now.

Work alongside a growing number of the population who are standing up for what they believe in; change. For all we know, the next ten years and the subject of mental health may look rather different, and hopefully be framed in a far more postive light. Be a molecule within that light. 

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