A few years ago, before Mental Illness got it’s teeth all the way into me, I worked in Financial Management for the NHS. Some time during my first week or so in the role, I was summoned to the office of the Department Head for a discussion around the various projects going on within the NHS, and how each was being managed from a financial point of view. One such project was a ‘Same As You’ scheme, which focussed on reducing the stigma around MH. This was before I had realised or acknowledged my own MH issues, but I was still somewhat taken aback when the prim and proper, yet imposing and severe, presence that was our manager remarked that she had a problem with the title of this project, that she objected to being viewed in the same light as someone who ‘needed turned over in their bed every 20 minutes…’
If you’re anywhere close to my wavelength, you’ll need a moment to digest that last sentence…
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day (WMHD), for which the theme was ‘dignity’. I have multiple Mental Health issues, and I want to leave a message for anyone who struggles to grasp the concept of Mental Illness, anyone who judges, makes assumptions based on nothing but ignorance.
On WMHD 2015, I got up, had a cup of tea, showered and ate breakfast. I did some housework. I ate lunch and did some reading for an Open University module for which I’m studying. I did some relaxation exercises, drew and ate dinner. I watched Strictly Come Dancing, drew some more and went to bed with a book. I didn’t sit with my head in my hands all day, rock back and forth or dribble. I do not need someone to turn me over in bed, and I am the same as you.