• Laura May

I'm fine...how are you?

How many times a week do you say "I'm fine"?

According to the Mental Health Foundation, the average adult will say "I'm fine" 14 times per week.

Yet only 19% actually mean it.

So, why do we say it so often?

I don't know why other people say this, but as someone who personally lives with a long-term mental health condition, the reason I used to say this a lot was because I didn't feel like I had permission to say "actually, I'm not great right now" instead.

I thought I'd share a few things I used to say to myself regularly which you may recognise...

  • "I'm so blessed with an amazing family and great friends, I need to be more grateful"

  • "There is so much suffering in the world, I should count myself lucky"

  • "I have a great life, what more could I want?"

  • "If I need help I can just go and get it, I should stop letting myself become unwell"

All of these thoughts come from a place of self-stigma. I know that my mental health condition is not my fault (it isn't anyone's!) but I still felt, for many years, like if I just worked a little harder in all areas of my life, I would be able to conquer it.

The sad reality is, I could spend all day, every day working on beating my mental health condition - but it's not a fight. It's something I can manage, but not something I can cure.

Over the years, I have become more accepting of this reality. It's OK not to be OK.

Naturally, there are still some things I need to fight for (funding for services, access to treatment, improved understanding of mental health conditions) but these are battles that take place in the world, not inside myself.

I am extremely lucky to have some people in my life who I say "can we have a chat?" if I need some support. I don't need to keep saying "I'm fine" when I'm not. It's such a relief!

As Sunday brings this year's World Mental Health Day, I want to encourage people to stop saying "I'm fine" if they are not. Reach out to a trusted friend or health professional if you feel able to and ask for help. It's not weak or selfish, in fact it's the best possible thing you can do for yourself and those who love you.


Mental health support and information


This Sunday is World Mental Health Day, a chance to shine a light on the realities of living with a mental health condition in an unequal world. Find out more at www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day.


#worldmentalhealthday #mentalhealthsupport #livedexperienceblog #neverforgetmarketing #awarenessdays #campaigns

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