A blog about Mental Health, Suicide and our chosen charity, 42nd Street. Please be aware before reading that sensitive topics have been spoken about in this blog but with the intention to raise awareness and hopefully help.
This time of year always seems to be a hard time of the year for a lot of people. The buzz from the festive season has died down, the weather is cold, the days are grey and nightfall comes quickly. Money is tight and health is probably feeling worse for ware. Blue Monday is a commonly used term across social media and used for commercial reasons too.
However, it is really important to remember and to be aware that for a lot of people, having consecutive bad days isn’t always just driven by the January blues. These feelings stay around a lot longer, a lot darker, without reason and have no time, day or month restraints.
Mental health is often hard to talk about – something I experience even whilst writing this – but the more we step out and speak about it, the more we learn and the more we can help.
I am sure we are all aware of the rise in suicide rates, the stigma that still exists around mental health, the lack of resource and funding around one of the biggest killers, and also the lack of education which is directly linked to the little amount of knowledge that even the most dedicated and qualified scientists and researchers have. We’re talking about one of the most monumental independent challenges that exists, a challenge that approximately 450 million people globally (that we know about) are currently living with.
In memory of my gorgeous friend Krista, for the next 2 weeks, 100% of profits made from sales on our website will be donated to 42nd street; a Greater Manchester charity that supports young people aged 11-25 years with their emotional wellbeing and mental health, promoting choice and creativity.
Losing a loved one to suicide is one of the most heartbreaking, confusing and devastating losses. Something that, if like me, you never thought would affect you. I was very young, naive, and it is probably fair to say, ignorant to the fact that people wanted their life to end - it is something I had personally never had the battle with. It was rarely spoken about in school and I had a very unrealistic view of what a person that was struggling expressed on the outside. As I said I was young, but I was old enough to have been educated on it, I was old enough where I could have been going through difficult battles myself, and I was old enough to talk about it with my friends - if we had been more aware.
I learnt in a very hard and a very real way that mental illness can eat away at a very smiley, very outgoing, very funny, very loved, very envied, very beautiful human being.
Now, 9 years later, after having my own life experiences and personal battles which have taught me how fragile mental health can be and unfortunately not the only suicide my family and friends have had to grieve and come to terms with, I am very aware and eager to help in anyway I can - this is a cause that is very dear to my heart, and I know it is probably close to many of yours too.
Nobody should feel alone, nobody should feel like the voice in their head controls them, nobody should feel like they can’t talk, nobody should feel like their only option is not living.
As our stocks are currently low as we wait for our next launch, and as you may have already bought your loved pieces, we have added a donation option to our website. You can add your donation amount to the cart and the donation will be sent to the charity. If we can make a difference to just one person then that would be an unbelievable start. If we can help fund a therapy session or a school workshop or even just raise awareness to someone reading this then it is a step in the right direction. So please head over to the link here to send your donation.
The work they are doing at 42nd street is amazing. A charity I have only discovered recently but I have delved into their website and wow - the amount of incredible work they are doing and the opportunity they are giving young people is what we need in the battle that life throws at us.
42nd Street provides free and confidential help to young people by offering counselling, therapy, psycho-social support and advocacy, group and peer support projects as well as leading creative projects and approaches to wellbeing and bespoke services in schools, colleges and universities. Their website is filled with information.
“We offer a range of individual therapeutic support and encourage and support young people to have a voice, and access opportunities to learn, develop new skills, be creative, have fun and demonstrate to themselves and others that they are able to recover, manage their mental health and wellbeing and achieve their full potential.”
To get in touch with 42nd street, you can self-refer or have a parent, colleague, friend refer you through a form on their website. If you are referring someone else you must have their consent to do so. To refer yourself or a friend head to their website 42ndstreet.org.uk and download a referral form. If you need help filling this out, you can call them for guidance. Forms must be complete and sent by post or fax in order to compile with Data Protection - they cannot be sent by email. Once you have made your referral a practitioner will get in touch with you to organise a Service Assessment. This allows you to find out more about 42nd Street and for 42nd Street to understand how best they can support you and ensure you get the right support as quickly as possible.
So, with payday around the corner, if there has been anything on The Wild you have been eyeing up, I ask you to go purchase it over the next 2 weeks or if you can donate anything - please go and do that so we can help support the great work at 42nd Street.
I would just like to add now that I am always here for anyone who needs to talk. But please, if you do need further support please reach out to 42nd Street if you are aged 13-25 in the Greater Manchester area or speak to that person you are worried about.
If you are over 25 there are many other charity’s you can reach out to such as Mind, Samaritans and CALM which are all amazing with the work they do too.
Please know that you are SO loved, you are SO cared about, you are SO needed in this world, and most importantly you will be happy again. It’s okay not to be okay!
Krista - The world hasn’t shined as bright since you left. We all love and miss you so much.