Feeling confident or comfortable enough to be able to speak up about your mental health can initially be incredibly daunting, but it’s also one of the bravest things you can do – and something that will benefit you greatly as well as those nearest and dearest.
Many individuals that suffer with mental health issues can sometimes struggle to speak to those closest to them because of the fear or not only what others may think, but how it may affect them. There are times when you’re not feeling 100% yourself and it can make you worry that you are being a downer in social situations, which in turn makes you feel even more awful about how you feel. This is why it is our mission at Unmasked to remove the stigma that is associated with mental health, we all experience times in our lives that we struggle and need support, so it’s time we normalise that.
How are you? “Yes, great thanks”. How many of us have answered with a similar response? In reality, we may be struggling, we may be experiencing a tough time, feeling increasingly low or very stressed, but we don’t speak out because of concerns we are bothering others. One of the Unmasked founders, Doug, admitted that prior to starting Unmasked, the thought of opening up about how he was feeling prevented him from doing so as it made him feel he was bugging others with his issues, but has seen how much benefit speaking out has had. “I think that until you do open up about how you feel, you have that fear in mind about how what you say will be perceived".
We all feel like it is a given that those we are closest to know that they can always open up to us about whatever is on their mind – a problem shared is a problem halved, right? It is so much better to be able to share your feelings than keeping them bottled up inside. This may not appear easy at first, but it is something that can become increasingly significant to aiding you in recognising why you feel the way you do and getting the support you may need. It appears to be a common assumption that we feel like we are hounding people by telling them about what is going on in our heads but talking about our feelings is a key part of taking charge of our mental wellbeing.
Our Unmasked hubs are a space where we acknowledge that we all have our own things going on and you are there, along with likeminded peers to offload what is concerning you whilst both offering and receiving support. The peer-support hubs are created for you by you, and they really do change lives. Users of our hubs in various locations have used words such as ‘life-changing’ and ‘inspirational’ to describe how they feel once they have attended. We want people to know that no matter what may be going on, you can always rely on Unmasked to be there for you.