Saturday 10th October was World Mental Health Day. For me, a day that is very important. I don’t believe it should only be celebrated on one day, and I truly wish that the amount of retweets and shares people were doing on social media was performed every single day…Not just one day a year.
One of my personal dreams for the future is to be an advocate. So, I try to use my platform on Instagram account @gtrippitt_ in every way I can to start to achieve that dream and make a difference. A subject I take pride in advocating around is mental health awareness, and recently I started up a project on my account which is mental health themed. Now (especially in our current global crisis), mental health illnesses are rising in numbers (https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/article/113/10/707/5857612 QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, Volume 113, Issue 10, October 2020, Pages 707–712) and because of that, suicide rates have risen hugely.
In an attempt to give people something…at least one thing to keep going for, …I have started a project called ‘100 reasons to hold on’. This is just as it says, every day for 100 days I post a reason for people to hold on, and to live today. It could be something as small as holding on to finish your to-do list or for the sequel to your favourite movie or something bigger like holding on for your family/ friends. The main purpose of this project is for people to gain some comfort, and reasoning for life. I want people to look at my story and feel less alone in the world. It has broken my heart to hear and to see of people struggling so intensely.
Everybody at some point experiences some mental health problem, it could be anxiety for a day, or 4 years, an eating disorder for a few month. No matter how long it lasts, what it may be, or label its given it IS a valid feeling and should be recognised by all around you. The project aims to help not only those who have been diagnosed, those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts or even those who are struggling. It is simply to give anybody, motivation for the day, be it to make yourself breakfast, or go to school/work that day.
Today’s social media can be a scary, negative place, I want my account to be somewhere people can go and feel at home. I haven’t got a huge following, and I’m definitely not an influencer. However, if I can give even one person some sanity, some happiness, some hope and some reason to stay alive that would give me some personal comfort knowing they still have the opportunity to fulfil their life.
I take so much pride in knowing there are people that have held on these past few months, through such tense, uncertain, anxious times. I can’t imagine personal situations they have dealt with. I truly hope with this project I can virtually hold my followers hands, and let them know there is strength in what they believe to be their weakness.
In the near future, it is my dream to see more people talk about their mental health, and their journeys, because whenever one person opens up it gives another person the courage to do so. I hope after reading this you can continue the chain of voices, because the chatter and the talk about something every single human will experience should never be stopped.
If you feel in crisis please call Samaritans suicide hotline at 116 123 for around the clock help or the NHS for support/guidance on 111.
There are other websites you can use if you don’t feel like talking:- Childline and Kooth (aimed at teens and young adults), C.A.L.M (for men) or text SHOUT to 85258. Alternatively, free counselling locally at Navigo and Open Minds
Always remember that your pain, your darkness, your fear, that horrible feeling that you are feeling right now isn’t permanent. It won’t last forever. But death will. So, please hold on. If not for yourself, than for me. If you want to view my project please head over to my Instagram account @gtrippitt_
Article by Young Reporter Grace Trippett
First published in Grimsby Telegraph 27th October 2020