Today is World Mental Health Day 2016. Mental health issues can be just as debilitating as physical health problems, and need to be treated with the same level of importance.

If you suffer with mental health problems, you can feel so isolated, alone and ashamed. I was diagnosed last year with depression and anxiety, and neglected myself and those around me. I rarely left the house, stopped doing things that I ordinarily enjoyed and shut myself off from my wonderful friends and family that were trying to help me.

If you find yourself in this – or in similar – situations, the first thing it is so important to remember is it’s OK not to be OK. One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. Although you can often feel isolated and alone – and talking to people seems like the last thing you want to do – it really does help; whether it be to friends or family members you trust, or to counsellors and trained medical professionals.

It is also important to recognise and reward any little steps you take on your way to recovery. However small and insignificant they may seem at the time, anything you do to take care of your mind and mental health definitely deserves a medal.

There are so many fantastic online resources that can help you to take those first steps in taking care of your mind and wellbeing. Mind and the Mental Health Foundation are two that I’d definitely recommend.

Katie xx

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