It was nice to welcome a few group members back who had not been for a while due to being overseas.
We continue to do our “Happy notice board” exercise every week. It is really encouraging to hear how much this helps people. If people can put something positive that has happened to them on to the notice board it can really help give people a fuller sense of perspective. This can help us hold up positive aspects when feeling low, as it teaches us not to dismiss the good things that have occurred.
We looked at the stigma surrounding mental health/addiction.
Below are some very unhelpful comments people have heard;
- “Just pull yourself together”
- “You don’t look depressed”
- “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone you were in a Psychiatric Hospital”
- “If you’re depressed you’re being a negative person”
- “You’re a time-wasting attention seeker”
- “What have you got to be depressed about?”
- “It’s very selfish to feel suicidal”
- “It must be so depressing going to the choose life group”
- “How can you do this to your children”
Below are some helpful tips from members on how to help deal with stigma;
- This illness does not define me as a person
- I can learn to tell people how I feel without feeling a sense of shame
- People may make unhelpful comments due to their own fear over a lack of understanding
- We can increase awareness and share helpful pages on social media
- Due to my own experience, I have a greater understanding, and can help others