#MyMentalHealthMatters: A problem shared is a problem halved

October 10, 2022 - Rachael McAnally

It's World Mental Health Day, and we've asked some of our staff to contribute their thoughts on the subject of mental health and what it means to them.

Rachael McAnally, Student Services Advisor, had this to say:

Mental health is as important as our physical health. 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in our lives – we all have mental health, and we all need to look after it.

For me, exercise helps my mental health, so I play in a Ladies Football Team. We train twice a week and play a game every Sunday. I always come away feeling energised. And being part of a team makes me feel connected and happy.

Getting outside helps me too, especially when I’m working from home and have been inside all day, I get out for a walk with the dog to help me switch off and relax after work.

As a Student Services Advisor at Ayr Campus, I feel proud to see my students access mental health support when they need it. This could even be as simple as opening up and talking to someone you trust - it does really help.

There is still so much stigma around mental health, but we all have it. We all have good days and bad days. Millions of people experience mental health issues like depression, anxiety and many other conditions and they all impact us differently.

The notion that people should “man up” or that men shouldn’t talk about their feelings is so outdated and needs to change. We see all the time how talking improves the mental health of our students & staff, of all genders.

It’s an old cliché that “a problem shared is a problem halved” but I see the truth in this. Locking everything away and trying to deal with it alone simply doesn’t work.

I’m a massive advocate for talking (in case you haven’t guessed). Opening up isn’t easy but it is so worth it. If you’re struggling, please have a chat with someone you trust – it could be a parent, friend, partner, family member or one of us in college.

Everything is fixable no matter how bad you think things are, there is always a way out and the support is always there, you just need to reach out. I always encourage people to speak to their GP – the sooner you do, the sooner you can feel better (here’s useful advice on speaking to your GP about mental health).

This World Mental Health Day, I’m asking you all to do something that supports your mental health. Even if your mental health is okay just now, you still need to nurture it and look after yourself.

It could be:

  • Have a relaxing bath
  • Catch up with friends
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Go a walk
  • Get some exercise
  • Watch a film you enjoy
  • Have a laugh, at least once a day (it’s great medicine!)

Plan time into your routine for activities that support your mental health and do them often. Life is short and we should make the most of it.

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