Sunday, 28 February 2021

Mental health matters: A month tackling the most taboo subjects there are | Editor’s Letter



As I write, someone is losing a loved one to their mental health, another is realising they have a deep psychological problem and somebody else is sat at a gravesite grieving on the anniversary of a beloved's suicide. 

The above, while difficult to read, should not be avoided. 

It’s one of our planet’s biggest humanitarian crisis and how we continuously dub mental health conversations taboo, awkward and frightening is not helping the matter - its quite literally and bluntly killing millions of people. 

Let’s stop doing that and create as many safe places as we possibly can.

To do our part, March is being dedicated to the conversations of all things mental health and its awareness.

Here at VavaViolet.com, and as the Founder who has battled her own mental health illnesses and continues to do so to this day, we want our online magazine to be one of those communities. 

One where you don’t feel alone, our content is relatable, educational as well as having the fair share of light-hearted moments as it's important we equally make the most of our lives and enjoy them with all we’ve got.

However, if you are or have a loved one suffering from a mental health illness it, understandably, is near impossible to see the bright side and seek happiness on even more delightful days.

Mental health illnesses can not just be shut off. They can not be avoided. Doing so makes them worse. 

Therefore how do we solve this crisis and the deep dark problems inside us and our loved ones? We talk about it openly, bravely and find as many solutions and safe places as we possibly can! 

Saying ‘it will be okay’ sometimes does not cut it even slightly. I know that. It’s fucking pointless.

The trick is, it’s you who has to go and make it and yourself okay again. Whether that’s seeking professional help in the form of a therapist or coach, getting yourself on a waiting list for one, setting boundaries and booting toxicity out of your life or transforming your entire life, it’s not going to be easy. It's intensely difficult but you can do it!

The things we want the most are never easy to acquire. We often have to go through gruelling chapters of our lives to discover what we really want and in terms of our mental health and keeping it afloat in our bizarre modern society online it is a very peculiar one to achieve.

You see, bullying is no longer just on our playgrounds. Heck, I even have bloody children trolling me during the day while they’re in their classrooms in the comments under my articles for the British press. It’s really weird but so normal that no one blinks an eye?

Trolling is a pandemic itself. 

To put things into perspective, here are for the UK statistics for the impact of mental health in 2020, according to MHFA England:

- 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year 

- 792 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide 

- At any given time, 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill-health 

- Mental illness is the second-largest source of burden of disease in England 

- Mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions

- Mental ill-health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year. Note: Different studies will estimate the cost of mental ill-health in different ways. Other reputable research estimates this cost to be as high as £74–£99 billion

- The total cost of mental ill-health in England is estimated at £105 billion per year 

- People with a long-term mental health condition lose their jobs every year at around double the rate of those without a mental health condition. This equates to 300,000 people – the equivalent of the population of Newcastle or Belfast 

- 75% of mental illness (excluding dementia) starts before age 18. Note: Dementia is more accurately described as a progressive neurological disorder (a condition affecting the brain’s structure and subsequent function over time), and typically does not occur before the age of 30

- Men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK

- 70-75% of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment at all 


Want to read more articles like this one? Why not check out: 

- It took a global pandemic for me to end my hoe ways, we still gonna f*ck tho | Editor's Letter

- 2021 will be a lot easier for you if you manifest, just saying | Editor's Letter: 2020 wrapped


Do you see now why this is such a critical conversation to have? 

This discussion is going to affect every single person you know and yourself in some way. 

It doesn't take a genius to work out if we want to spend our taxes on things other than mental health we first need to invest in discovering what the population needs more of to help with MH so that we can get people back into work and not have £34billion a year lost because we didn't take it as seriously as we should. 

If we invest now, in the future that's £34billion to tackle another issue with 792 million people still living and breathing helping the global fight against mental health and other problems such as child abuse, climate change, domestic abuse, Black Lives Matter and hopefully locking up Donald Trump in the process of it all.

Of course, the most important thing here is not money. However, tragically we are divided by those who pick between cash and lives. Personally, I'd rather see people living happily and live in a joyous world than one where I am spending it idolising billionaires who do not care about me as everyone in the supermarket gives me evils instead of saying, 'good morning' with a smile.

I'm a dreamer, always have been. I'm also a gunner for making them come true. I know our readers are too.

However, many of you can't seem to comprehend the extent of the problem, lack the ability to tap into empathy, are not very mindful and decide to spend your lives projecting instead. 

I don't mean to be harsh, perhaps blunt but I too want you to you happy - even the trolls. And to do this we all need to work together.

It's funny in a dark and twisted way, we could save lives and money at the same time but instead we're all more obsessed with being right and bickering amongst ourselves as our egos shriek in delight.

Fuck that. We're going to talk about it all.

See you tomorrow to mark national self-harm day. 

And remember, do this self-love journey for yourself. Because you deserve happiness and a fulfilled and merry life.



Written by VavaViolet's Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Sophie Blackman


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