I remember one of my friends sharing a post about how important it was to talk about mental health and be sensitive towards those who need our help on May 1, 2016. That was five years ago and for me people like my friend were the worst kind of hypocrites.
Here’s the post I shared
It was a different time for me personally. I was one of those people who needed help but whenever I looked around for help, there never seemed to be any. To then see someone, I know share about the importance of mental health, when one of their own friends suffers from a mental illness was a hard pill to swallow.
5 years from then on, I still see so many people who talk about mental health only on the designated days and months. Absolutely pin drop silence before and after that. Only insensitivity and judgements before and after that but at least for some time in the year, so many people put on this mask of empathy and sensitivity.
Of course, one cannot talk about something all the time unless they dedicate their whole career and life to it, but even then, empathy and sensitivity are not that hard to practice. For so many, it is the natural thing to do but then again, for so many, it is simply a trend, a herd to be followed, an aesthetic to be put forward. Too many people do it to feel better about themselves, not to make others feel better.
Mental health awareness months, weeks, days and all of these limited durations have their own role to play in the larger scheme of things but the point of these is that people learn something in this time and apply it for the rest of the year. Turning your empathy switch on for a few days is not going to help anyone, keeping it on will.
Sadly, I see this trend among fellow psychology students too and if things continue as they are, I am afraid these ‘mental health awareness _______ (months, weeks, days)’ will continue to simply be a celebration of hypocrisy and self-serving attitudes.