Harmful Attitudes Towards Mental Health Sufferers Must End

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

(Just a warning - this isn't strictly musical, but it does involve a music artist.)

Having fame and money is a privilege. As kids we all dream of being rich and having worldwide recognition, be it as a fantastic footballer, top-selling musician or whatever else. Only a select few actually achieve this dream however, be it through hard work, talent or that little slice of luck. If truth be told, you normally need all three.

But no matter how rich and famous you are, you're still a human being. Having lots of money and living in a large house is obviously a privileged life, but that doesn't render those who have this life incapable of feeling emotion. Look at Robin Williams. Look at Caroline Flack. Look at Avicii. All three had lives the rest of us can literally only dream of, yet it didn't stop depression eventually taking them.

Every time a celebrity takes their own life, there's a brief renewal of hope. "Be kind", say the masses. "You never know what someone is going through." "These people had it all and still took their own lives, we need to discuss mental health more." Excellent. Couldn't agree more. Mental health is still stigamtised and we must do all we can to ensure that people know that if they're struggling, it's okay to talk about it.

Which is why it's so disheartening when we see tweets like this.

First off, let's just recognise that what Captain Tom Moore has done is amazing. It's an outstanding achievement and he deserves absolutely every ounce of praise he's getting and then some. Well done, Captain.

What's less amazing is the first part. "One is sat crying in their £12,000,000 mansion making a right idiot of themselves". Well, props for using the right pronoun at least, but after all the talk of mental health, of how celebrities can feel it too, how are we here once again? It has been nine weeks since Caroline Flack's tragic death and yet here we are, criticising a celebrity for showing some vulnerability, for daring to struggle during this unprecented crisis.

Nottingham Forest football player Joe Lolley put it best in his response. "Why is it deemed necessary to slag someone off on instead of just simply celebrating someone’s amazing achievements", he said in a tweeted response. "Some people during this time will do amazing things and some will struggle, everybody is different." Lolley later followed this up with "he’s not harming anyone, he’s a human being with family and friends. How many more lives need to be destroyed because of pointless online ridicule before people realise their words can affect people". He later acknowledged his incorrect use of "he" in regards to Sam Smith, and corrected it to "they". He's absolutely correct too. Words can affect absolutely anyone, it does not matter how much money they have. Sam Smith is very successful and has forged a brilliant career for themselves. But they can still feel emotion, still struggle, and frankly this is a very difficult time for us all. It's a shame that we feel the need to demonise someone for opening up about their struggles when we were literally telling them to open up two months ago.

This cycle of briefly caring about mental health then going back to victimising people who suffer - famous or not - needs to end. The undisputable fact is that mental health problems can affect absolutely anyone. Mental issues do not discriminate between rich and poor, famous and on benefits. Anyone can be affected and it's about time we recognise that and show our genuine support for those who suffer.

Soon on this website, we will be releasing an interview with a musician who openly suffers with his depression. The last thing we want is for him to be demonised for having depression despite his success. Let's end this harmful cycle and start meaning it when we say we care. If we don't, this problem will never end.


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