Today, 4th February, marks Time to Talk Day, where the organisation Time to Change encourages everyone to talk about their mental health.
I think it's great that there is a day dedicated to talking about mental health - it will hopefully help tackle the stigma around it and make more people realise that having a mental health issue does not make you any less of a person, or change who you are.
However, I wish that people would talk about mental health every day, as a normal conversation, without feeling awkward about it. If society was more open about mental illness, it would probably encourage more people to get the help they need, whether that is in the form of support from family and friends, or professional help from doctors and psychologists. It would help to tackle the biggest killer of young people in the UK - suicide. And the population as a whole would be able to be much more honest about how they are feeling, instead of saying the cliched 'not too bad' when somebody asks - which would hopefully make us all that little bit happier.
I hope we get to a point in the future when it is completely normal to strike up a conversation about depression, or openly admit to feeling anxious. I know that I try and talk about mental health at least once every day, whether that is as a professional in a medical environment, or in a relaxed way to friends or family, it doesn't matter. I'm trying to get the word out there that it's okay to suffer with a mental illness. Even if it's just asking honestly about how someone is feeling.
Everybody should have a conversation about mental health each day, even if it's just because they are feeling a bit unhappy as their football team lost a match. Mental health is just as important as physical health - happiness equals a fulfilled and healthy life.
The greater your storm, the brighter your rainbow.