The mental health charity, Mind, estimates that one in four of us will experience a mental health difficulty at some point in our lives. Mental ill health can affect anyone, regardless of age or social status. The lives of family members, partners and friends are also affected.
Emotional distress can make it hard for people to leave their homes, interact with others and take care of everyday basics. Sometimes what is perceived by others as odd behaviour is an outward sign of mental ill health but this is not always the case.
There are so many fears and preconceptions about mental ill health that it is best to avoid making assumptions. Just treat people considerately and, as with other hidden disabilities, pay attention to support requests then give any help you can.
Mental ill health is particularly stigmatised on the island of Ireland but much work is being done to address this matter and many people with a past history of mental ill health can recover.
Helpful information and practical support on mental health issues can be found at:
Northern Ireland Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability|
Mental Health Ireland|