Today is World Mental Health Day. We are all mindful of looking after our physical health, watching what we eat, asking ourselves whether we get enough exercise, etc. But how many of us actually stop to think about whether we are looking after our own mental health?
It is just as important to look after our mental wellbeing as much as our physical health. Conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression, to name but a few, can impact upon any of us.
A District Judge recently gave a very honest and open account about how depression and anxiety forced her to take 11 months out of work, and spoke out about bringing mental health diagnosis into the open.
In the article, she spoke openly about trying to remove the stigma and embarrassment that people may feel from naming any diagnosis or condition. Although relating to discussions in court, her comments should ring true just as much everywhere.
If you feel you need help there is no shame in seeking support and assistance from your GP or other support agency.
As lawyers we are used to being precise and correct with our vocabulary. So why do we still speak in hushed euphemisms when it comes to mental ill-health? The answer is fear. For those who are ill, there is a fear of being stigmatised. Of being seen as unstable, unreliable, a liability. We can dread being labelled as ‘crazy’. We are afraid that people will assume that we will never be able to be trusted with our jobs.