On July 31st, the Y.E.S. panel set up shop on Cow’s Lane, Dublin 8, as part of ‘Make Your Motto’. An annual event, ‘Make Your Motto’ challenges the public to share their words of encouragement and wisdom relating to mental health.
The popularity of ‘Make Your Motto’ lies in the fact that it’s so much easier for us to offer kind words and advice to others. However, when it comes to minding ourselves, it can be a different story.
We all have an external and internal voice, the former at times being of a much kinder tone than the latter. But think on this the next time you begin to internally chastise yourself for something you did, said or didn’t do: would you ever speak to someone else in such a manner in the same situation? Chances are no, you wouldn’t. Likewise, if you see a friend or family member struggling with their mental health your first thought would be to get them help, not of the fear and stigma because when it comes to helping a loved one these, quite simply, don’t factor into the equation. Taking such steps for yourself, however, can be a much tougher journey.
An article on Spunout.ie, How To Start A Conversation About Your Mental Health, gives some steps you can put in place to start up a conversation about mental health. It’s true that talking about your mental health shouldn’t be difficult, but sometimes that’s precisely what it is.

Conversation started tips include:

  • Be prepared
  • Choose the right person
  • Choose the right time

Taking the steps to open up about your mental health and ask for help can be scary, there’s no two ways about it. But having the ability to stare that fear down and do it anyway is a strength. So while making your motto about mental health, or giving a loved one some advice, remember to hold onto a little bit for yourself, you deserve those words of wisdom too.

Notes:
YES – the Youth Empowerment Service – was set up to support young people with mental health difficulties who are in Willow Grove. The YES youth panel ensures that young people have an authentic voice in the development of adolescent mental health services through:

  • reviewing documents used in the adolescent and young adult service
  • participating in the recruitment and selection process of staff employed to work in Willow Grove Adolescent Unit
  • being involved in mental health awareness raising campaigns, in youth organisations and in adolescent mental health initiatives locally, nationally and internationally.
  • advocating for advocacy in youth mental health.

By Trudy McCarthy, Communications Officer at Samaritans Ireland

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