More support needed for people with mental health issues – Katie Bulmer Cooke

This week there has been a lot of media coverage around mental health, in particular male mental health, following the sad death of Love Island star Mike Thalassitis.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 25 March, 2019, 17:02
More needs to be done to support people with mental health problems.

Although there seems to be more conversation around mental health now than ever before, there is undoubtedly more that can be done to help those who need extra support and to educate everyone from children to adults on the subject.

Mental health issues shouldn’t ever be something to be embarrassed about, and having low points in life shouldn’t ever be something that people feel they can’t talk about.

I was asked in a radio interview this week whether there should be a better support system in place for those coming out of reality TV shows, and my answer was, absolutely yes, but equally there should be more support systems in place for everyone.

This can include the more well established forms of support, such as dedicated phone lines, through to education and advice at a foundation level, such as workshops and lessons in schools and further education establishments.

While the internet has given us so many positives, it has also played a big part in there being so much extra pressure on young people these days.

From the pressure to look a certain way to having the latest material items, they are bombarded from every angle.

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Perhaps in an ideal world we would rewind the clock and change our minds about just how great social media is, or we wouldn’t let them have a phone or a tablet, but that simply isn’t reality.

With that in mind, teaching our kids that reality TV isn’t always reality and that social media posts aren’t a true reflection of someone’s real life, it’s just their show reel, is imperative.

The sad passing of Mike Thalassitis has highlighted the need for more conversation around mental health, and hopefully more people will reach out for the help and support that is currently available as a result too.

In Sunderland, a quick Google search reveals several organisations offering support and advice, such as Sunderland Mind, Sunderland Psychological Wellbeing Service and Mental Health Matters.

All of these organisations are easy to contact either online or over the phone, so if you or someone you know would benefit from their services, don’t put it off or feel embarrassed, get in touch with them and utilise the provision they have to offer.