Nobody should feel guilty about struggling with mental health - Wendy Halliday

We all have mental health and any of us could experience mental health problems during our lives, so we all need to have a better understanding so no-one feels ashamed or is treated differently because of their mental health.

As a result of the pandemic, more people are experiencing mental health problems and often those who were already struggling are finding their mental health getting worse.

More of us are paying attention to our mental health and are putting in place measures to improve our wellbeing and prevent mental health challenges from escalating.

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We have also seen more people reaching out for support for the first time, which we would always encourage.

Wendy Halliday, See Me Director. Picture:: Marc Turner/ See Me Scotland

However, at See Me we are concerned that this is not the case for all; too many people are still struggling alone and are fearful or unable to reach out to get the support they deserve.

We know from speaking to our own volunteers that many people don’t want to tell anyone they are struggling because they feel guilty, as the pandemic has changed life for everyone.

This just adds to the existing issues that mental health stigma and discrimination create, which stop people from reaching out and asking for help as they are worried they will be judged or dismissed.

People who have pre-existing mental health conditions can face increasing challenges at this time, particularly in education, in work and when seeking work, when trying to access care for their either physical and mental health needs and when reaching out to family and community and other sources of support.

Many feel cut off and increasingly isolated, which is having a knock-on effect on their mental health.

See Me is working to increase confidence and understanding around mental health, so no-one is judged, dismissed or left alone.

This campaign from The Scotsman comes at a really important time - we all need to be there for each other and you can make a difference.

If you think someone is struggling, ask them how they are, reassure them that they shouldn’t feel guilty and they shouldn’t have to struggle alone. You don’t have to be an expert in mental health to be kind, and we can all make a difference.

Wendy Halliday is the director for See Me Scotland.

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