This Trending Twitter Hashtag Says A Lot About Mental Health Right Now

Illustration: Anna Jay
It's undeniable that the stigma surrounding mental ill-health has lifted somewhat in the UK in recent years. Young people, in particular, are more likely to share their experiences on social media than previous generations, and workplaces are increasingly accommodating of our requests for respite.
But we've got a long way to go before everyone feels comfortable enough sharing their stories in polite conversation. In many circles, it's still less acceptable to discuss depression than a slipped disc. Only when this changes will we have reached the holy grail: parity of esteem between mental and physical health.
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That's why it's heartening to see mental health-related topics trending on Twitter, as #MyMentalHealthIn5Words has been today. The hashtag does what it says on the tin, inviting people to share the state of their own mental health in five words, and the responses reveal the whole gamut of human experience.
Some were brave enough to share their current struggles, with many revealing their coping mechanisms and admitting they're suffering more than they usually let on.
Many people admitted needing or wanting professional help but suggested they were either too scared or lacked the knowledge of where to go. (If you're in a similar quandary, contact a charity like Mind or the Samaritans, and take some time to research the different types of therapy available.)
Some shared their tips for getting out of a bad patch or for maintaining a state of equilibrium.
There were people who talked of coming out the other side and appeared to be in a good place.
And people revealed that, for them, mental health is a constant project, an ongoing work in progress. Many wanted to reassure others that it's completely normal to go through rough patches.
If you are struggling with your mental health and need support, please call Mind on 0300 123 3393.
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