Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
BMC are marking Mental Health Awareness Week through our Operations Director Andrew sharing his story. This week’s theme is kindness– there’s a culture of kindness which is catching much more quickly than any virus and for those who are suffering from mental health issues, you are not alone.
Andrew’s journey to opening up has been long, and for over two decades he has hidden crippling anxiety and severe bouts of depression. This is until recently, when he was given the amazing opportunity to finally share his mental health problems on Sean Anderson's The RAG Podcast (see the link to the video below) a few weeks ago. Andrew was joined by an amazing friend, Rhonda D’Ambrosio who is a mental health advocate.
Rhonda has been instrumental in Andrew’s realisation it is empowering to destigmatise mental health problems. By doing so, countless others have come forward to say Andrew sharing his experience has made them realise they do not need to keep up a pretence. It is Andrew’s sincere hope that this podcast/ video and all of the other work he’ll continue to do to raise awareness of ensuring the support for those suffering from mental health problems is impactful and that those previously suffering in silence do reach out as a result of him telling his truth.
More importantly, Andrew feels so strongly about driving positive change to aid the understanding of mental health issues in the workplace and beyond in order to both improve lives and improve business, he comments:
“If you’re an employer, invest in training around issues and encourage conversation and proactive behaviour, in order to significantly improve the lives of those suffering inwardly.
Let’s face it, suicide is still high up on the ‘stigma’ list. I wanted to kill myself and tried twice. However, I soon realised through talking therapy, support at home and other regular things I could look forward to, such as time with loved ones and basketball, that life is worth living and the black clouds hovering over you do clear, making way for brighter days. So if you’re feeling unwell today, seek help. Your GP is a good place to start. So is your boss as they can help at work. For loved ones of those who are currently unwell, my wife found the 24 hour Samaritans helpline (dial 116 123, it’s free and doesn’t show up on a phone bill) to be really good when I was struggling. Please know you’re not alone and help is right there.”