By Clement Oriaku

Why talking about mental health is important.

Being able to talk about your problems might be a herculean task for people with mental health issues. However, it has been discovered that in the process of people talking about their mental health, problems can be identified; stereotypes tacked and relationships improved; steps to recovery is assured and the stigma of mental illness is eliminated. 

Understandably, when one is struggling with issues, it can be difficult to speak up or even figure out how to approach the conversation in terms of who to speak to and what to say.

Yet speaking up is the surest bet to finding solution or simply feeling better. Therefore, you should find a way to express how you feel.

According the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five young adults is dealing with mental issues, but as many as half are struggling in silence.

We all have reasons why it’s hard to reach out. Maybe you have tried before and got hit with a bad reaction. Maybe you can’t find the words to or are unable to describe what you are feeling. But while the thought of sharing what you are passing through can be mind-boggling, the benefits surpass the costs by a great deal.

You are not alone, and this you will get to know once you start reaching out. Plus, you will discover that there is a great deal of help out there.

Just talking about mental health issues, even if its just to one person, could help deal with stigma and you may be surprised to find that you’re actually helping others. When you speak up you are not only giving yourself a chance to get better, you may also be creating a chance for someone to discover a path to the solutions for their issues.

I can authoritatively speak on this issue because I have attended the UNBURDEN session organized by the Mental Health team of Jela’s Development Initiatives (JDI) and seen how speaking up (unburdening) has helped people find their path. I have also learnt from other people’s experiences.

Talking about your mental health issues may not be easy but it’s definitely a vital part of getting the help you need. 

My name is Clement- a JDI Mental Health Advocate.

You can also join our next UNBURDEN session on Friday, the 28th of February, 2020. Please check our Instagram page @jdinitiatives1 for more details