Blog For Mental Health http://blogformentalhealth.com/ is an official project set up to help raise awareness for Mental Health education through the stories we share on our blogs. The aim is to educate and eradicate stigma. To become a part of the project, all you need to do is write a post and take the BFMH pledge.
If you asked me four years ago what Mental Health is, I might have said it was more to do with a serious psychiatric illness, such as schizophrenia. My limited knowledge came mainly from the stigmatised reports we read in the press.
My initial diagnosis was Depression secondary to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but I had no idea they came under the umbrella of Mental Health. When my circumstances got progressively worse, it became apparent that something more serious was at the helm.
The actual appointment with a Psychiatrist was the easiest part, but my arrogance scoffed at her new diagnosis. It felt like we were sharing a dreadful secret from the dark recesses of my soul and I remember wishing the Doctor would lower her voice.
Dr H asked, “Do you have the internet at home?” Those words were destined to change my life.
Trawling through websites for information is invaluable, but I wanted to hear about ‘real’ people’s experiences of mental health. Forums are an excellent source of identification and support, but blogging was something quite different.
I am quite inquisitive and an avid people watcher – okay, call me nosy, if you like. Entering into someone’s personal blog-space, especially for the first time, can feel a bit like stepping into a part of their home and reading excerpts from a private journal. Once a blogger becomes familiar, it can be more akin to sitting in their living room having a fireside chat.
The first thing that struck me about the Mental Health blogging community is the honesty. People talk candidly about things I spent decades running from and here were the words of a stranger, writing the unspeakable… tearing down years of ignorant stigma.
I write to think and it feels a remarkable privilege to share a little part of this journey on my blog. Without the blogging community, I would not be where I am today. Now it is time to give a little something back and this year it comes in the shape of the Blog For Mental Health pledge.
“I pledge my commitment to the blog for mental health 2015 project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma”