The recent passing of Caroline Flack shocked me and made me angry. I’m sorry Caroline you could find no way out of the darkness. I am sorry to everyone who gets lost in that all-consuming darkness. I hope that wherever you all are now that you are feeling good, feeling better and you have a smile on your faces. I hope that if you are fighting that darkness or just surviving it that you know that I believe that you can do it.
So this is a piece from my heart. Mental health is something I am passionate about and I want to advocate my thoughts on this subject. Last night I was horrified by the opinions of someone I was talking to. They told me that the only reason anyone was bothered about Caroline was that she’s a woman and mental health was being used as an excuse again. This made me so angry. How could someone be so ignorant about the struggles of mental health? I can only assume that people with these opinions have never struggled with mental health difficulties, they have no idea of the all-consuming, debilitating and bleakness that people can suffer with.
The media and internet trolls dragged her through the mud, they didn’t wait for her to defend herself or gave her an opportunity to explain. Our justice system failed. Instead of protecting people, it killed Caroline as it was decided an example should be made despite complaints being withdrawn. This most likely would have happened had she not been in the public eye. The impact of this case on her mental health was not properly considered. It should have been. Her health was clearly not considered or cared for in the holistic manner it should have been. Caroline should not have been a trial with a court date but instead getting the much-needed support and help that she needed to manage her mental health. This situation should never have happened. I doubt this is the first time and sadly, it most likely will not be the last.
So I ask everyone: those with and without mental health difficulties. Open your minds and consider the daily struggle, the second-by-second struggle that some people face to get up in the morning, get dressed, go to work and be that person you know. I ask for everyone to use their strength, passion, voice and determination to fight for better support, rights and compassion for mental health, do it. We need to sign petitions, use hashtags, write to MPs to tell them we want to change, take part in marches and demonstrations, talk about it but most importantly let’s be kind to one another. We as a whole society must demand change.
So next time you pass someone on the street, post something online or share some ‘gossip’ or rumour, reserve your judgement instead smile and pass on some kindness. Kindness can go a long way and I truly believe that we all need to put a higher value in being kind.
love Bet x