Mental health has been stigmatised for centuries

Mental ill-health �is known� to be most present among teenagers

Mental ill-health �is known� to be most present among teenagers - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Now let us see how many eyes role and fingers twitch to turn the page.

Thousands and thousands of columns, campaigns, charities, blogs, television segments, radio shows, an infinite list of mixed media, have all been dedicated to mental health awareness and aid.

We have seen the significance of this issue been taken on by the workplace and schools: enlisting counsellors, safeguarding, having the effects of stress, for example, being a liable reason to call in sick and so on.

There is now a conversation about something that was stigmatised for centuries. But I am here to question those that scowl at the mention of those two words. Mental illness.

For something so mundane and common, we describe it with words that have connotations of 'insane' and 'disease.'

Every business has regulations on how to aid with their employee's mental health – textbook instructions which in fact, over analyse and overregulate rather than showing genuine empathy. The same applies for schools.

Mental ill-health 'is known' to be most present among teenagers, or it could be we are the most monitored. Men aged 40 to 49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK and in 2018, three quarters of suicides were by men. There were 6,507 deaths by suicide that year.

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Mental ill-health is the second largest cause of burden of disease in England. Read that again.

Although, quite heartbreakingly, 70 to 75 per cent of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment at all.

Does this make you question, with these thousands of awareness campaigns, why aren't people seeking the aid they need?

Half of people with mental ill-health develop signs by age 15, with 75 per cent of this fully developed by age 18 and yet only 12.8 per cent of young people aged five to 19 meet clinical criteria for a mental health disorder. This means clinical criteria is failing us.

I have taken clinical criteria tests and was deemed not eligible despite suffering with severe panic attacks throughout secondary school.

I see anxiety, depression and eating disorders both effecting and resented by those around me. I see people remaining ignorant to the weight of carrying a mental illness.