The ball is in your court.
Mental health problems continue to affect 1 in 4 people every year. By sharing experiences, together we can help end the stigma.
Talking about mental health is not a weakness, it never has been, and never will be. Although many of us still find it difficult to discuss our feelings, especially when to us, they feel severe.
Last year we launched the ball is in your court. This was aimed at encouraging our local communities to talk more about mental health, and to use Tennis For Free as a platform for making a real difference to those suffering from mental health problems. One year on, whilst progress has been made, it is still not enough. People with mental health issues still see themselves as different. Some still feel there is no one to talk to. Others still feel abandoned or even judged by friends and family. This is where the real difference can be made.
Make a difference
When we use the term the ball is in your court, we mean you!
You could make a real difference to someone, just by being aware and speaking out. Not only will it allow you to offer help, but it will also potentially change someones life and make a positive impact. It is important to remember that everyone's experience with ill mental health is different, so symptoms can vary from person to person. However, there are common signs to look out for. Bear in mind that if you do spot one of these signs, it doesn't always mean someone has a mental health issue.
These signs can be more difficult to spot, and therefore may require you to be extra attentive.
Whilst it may be hard to spot these symptoms, you may have concerns if these are paired with other signals. Lapses in memory can be one of the more noticeable signs in a person and can often lead to confusion or disorientation. These could be brought on by overwhelming stress or experiencing trauma. Also, noticing someone is tearful can signal problems in their personal life. Regardless of the reason, they may benefit from speaking to someone.
In many case, behavioural signs can be misinterpreted. Increased irritability or anger can be a tell-tale sign of anxiety or other disorders, especially if this is someone who usually has a calm and collected personality, whilst someone who may begin to take risks that seem out of character or being making impulsive decisions can also require the help and support of a professional.
Finally, notable increased absence from activities that would usually be part of their modus operandi could suggest an underlying cause.
Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it. If you would like to share your story anonymously then please click here.