2014 - the year of progressionIn no particular order, here is a rundown of the 8 greatest moments of 2014 for mental health awareness…


The Government’s mental health task force

The deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, seems ready to address mental health services and make his final impression before the general favourable towards improving mental health. His new mental health task force is aiming to not only improve the services provided, but to simultaneously save money by making treatments more effective. 

Having politicians address the need of mental health issues and services to be given as much gravitas as physical health brings the issue to the forefront of the media and the public. It will be interesting to take a look at their achievements this time next year.


The death of a star – Robin Williams

Many of us will have a Robin Williams film amongst our favourites (with Mrs Doubtfire, Hook, Jumanji, and Happy Feet to name a few) and so it was no surprise that the world was devastated by his suicide. In response to revelations that the star had been struggling with depression, social media and the press discussed the stigma around mental illness and encouraged people to speak out and support each other.


Expelling myths with mental health facts

It is always important to know all of the facts before having opinions or believing the numerous myths on mental health.

In case you didn’t hear the most significant facts from the leading charities already… 

Mind: ‘1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year’
Women’s Aid: ‘Disabled women are twice as likely to be assaulted or raped as non-disabled women’
Mental Health Foundation: ‘Around 4,400 people end their lives in England each year – that’s one death very two hours – and at least 10 times that number attempt suicide.
Young Minds: ‘Three children in every classroom has a diagnosable mental health disorder’


Movember

The people behind Movember decided 2014 was the year to bring awareness to ‘the hairy facts’ on men’s mental health. With fundraising still ongoing, we look forward to discovering whether Movember 2014 has beaten 2013’s total of £20.4 million! This swanky, indie and sophisticated charity is an ideal advocate to help improve awareness on a very common issue and particularly encourage men to speak up. Read our blog about Movember here


Fantastic role models – Professor Green

If you didn’t already know from the enormous Twitter and Instagram followings celebrities can have great influence on trending topics. Therefore a popular London rapper opening up on how he deals with mental health after the suicide of his mentally ill father will have encouraged fans to think about their own mental health. Professor Green’s article is certainly worth a read if you missed it.


Maternal mental health

Charlotte Bevan’s disappearance from hospital with her new born baby girl concerned a nation and then saddened millions when their bodies were tragically discovered on a cliff face. It has prompted a look at the care and mental health services available to new mothers. Postpartum depression affect around one in 10 women after having a baby and it’s a too-often taboo issue that we will be addressing this year with the release of two new handbooks for professionals working with new parents, Postnatal Depression and Maternal Mental Health and Parental Mental Health Volume 1.

Everyone’s Business is a maternal mental health charity dedicated to helping new mothers who develop mental illness during or after pregnancy. 2014’s hashtag #everyonesbusiness is an effective way to inform people on the support available to new mothers to avoid future tragedies.

For a Saturday night ‘family entertainment’ show watched by more than 9 million people, it is really disappointing that the X Factor could be so insensitive towards mental illness which effects 1 in 4 people. During their Halloween show a performance included dancers in strait jackets whilst the contestant sang ‘Crazy’. However, what was encouraging, was the online outrage from the public proving that attitudes are slowly changing. 


Authentic portrayals

2014 also saw more authentic portrays of people with mental health problems which deserve praise. The series Homeland, shows the character Carrie dealing with bipolar disorder in a very honest way. It better informs the public on how to support and identify people suffering from the disorder.


Trending hashtags

#MentalHealth #Act4MentalHealth #BellLetsTalk #mhsm
Which trending hashtags did you see and use this year that were mental health related?

2014 has been a good year for improving awareness on mental health, let’s try to make 2015 a great one.

 

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