Many of us are looking at January as a time to bring about positive changes. But positive change is much easier to make when we are feeling mentally strong. This is particularly hard this January. The coronavirus pandemic with its many lockdowns has created an epidemic of mental health issues, the effect of which will be seen for years to come. People who have never suffered before are experiencing mental health issues for the first time. And with healthcare stretched to full capacity, it’s even harder than before to seek professional advice leaving many people to cope by themselves.
My Black Dog is a product of my own experiences; I have suffered with depression for most of my life. One of the things that I struggled with the most was finding someone who could relate to what I was going through. I am fortunate enough to have some wonderful friends and a supportive family, however, mental health is something that is very hard to understand unless you have experienced it yourself. I kept thinking “I wish I could talk to someone who gets it”, which is where the whole concept came from.
Having access to professional services. Even before COVID, the NHS in the UK was completely overwhelmed with the amount of people needing help with their mental health. Now, it’s very hard to get a GP appointment or see a therapist because of the restrictions, so where can people go for professional help? In addition, we are seeing a huge rise in people experiencing mental health issues, for understandable reasons, and we can expect to see many more in the coming months and years. We are dealing with a tidal wave of mental health and people will need support now more than ever.
Find someone that you can lean on. I am very lucky to have a Board of Trustees whose advice is invaluable, but at times, I find it hard to ask for help. I’ve been running My Black Dog on my own for a long time, and it’s slightly alien now, with the growing amount of people who now play key parts in our organisation, to think “wow, I’m not alone, there are people here to support me!” The trick is to recognise that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a road to greater strength.
Absolutely! Already we have heard so many incredible stories of people helping one another and seen the true power that comes from kindness. I feel that there will be a greater empathy towards mental health, as each and every person has been mentally tried by this pandemic and the devastation it has created.
Tallis is a Swiss brand using responsibly sourced materials in a way that helps avoid waste. We use reclaimed materials such as cashmere, fish leather and sheepskin to make beautiful knitwear and stylish accessories. Made of only natural fibres, our high-performance products are designed to last a lifetime and never pollute the environment. All Tallis products have a story of sustainability, whether it's beanies made from vintage cashmere jumpers or knitwear which can be returned to us and turned into a hat, for free, when you've finished with it. To learn more, explore our sourcing story and follow our blog.