Change- its a word we all use, but its a word that means many different things in many different cases. To me, change is a chance to make this world a better place for the people living in it.
Coming up with something I wanted to change about the way society works in England today wasn't easy because I had so many things I wish I could change. But, after careful consideration, I came upon one idea that stuck out the most to me- the way mental health is treated in England today.
Mental health- its not a very common phrase. It's not the kind of thing you hear being bandied about the school. In some strange way its a taboo subject, meant only for quiet whispers, and secret conversations in locked rooms. In open society its something you never talk about, unless something happens to you, that makes you realise that keeping silent just won't work.
At the age of eleven I got diagnosed with OCD and autism. These illnesses were the components that helped ruin parts of my childhood. Even now I remember sitting on the steps in my house thinking- 'What's wrong with me? Why am I not like every other child?" Being forced to think these things at the age of six years old wasn't easy going- all these illness not only brought me down, but also my family. Seeing me wash my hands so much that they bled, or watching me near starve myself because I wouldn't eat anything other than sausages and beans, scared everyone around me. Children can be strange- there's no denying it. But there was something different about the way I acted and everyone knew it. For a while we just called all these strange actions 'Chloe's Quirks' simply because none of us had information enough about things like OCD to realise there was a way out for us. Thanks to the lack of information on mental health issues, I had to spend a whole childhood watching my hands bleed after I yet again had washed them to remove the baceteria which in fact wasn't really there. Thanks to a lack of information, I had to sit and listen as my mum wept into my dads arms asking why I was like this- was it just because I was difficult? or was it just the way I was born? At that time nobody had the answers.
If the government worked harder towards making mental health a more talked about issue in parliament, familes like mine could've been saved a lot of heartache and worry. If my family had been given any facts at all about what to do next, I wouldn't have had to have felt so afraid of who i was inside. It's only thanks to my mum taking me to the doctor that I escaped in time- Others aren't so lucky
At school, children with mental health conditions are bullied because children aren't being educated on things like depression, autism, schizophrenia or any other condition that could one day crop up in their lives. None of them realise the sheer terror that comes with questioning what is going on in your head, nor how lonely it feels as a child to question why your not like every other girl or boy around you. Being stuck into a classroom and being told to stand up in front of the class when you suffer from anxiety isn't fair. Being told your weird because you like to keep things straight on your desk isn't just a joke. To some people its a way of life- they can't help being like that, but still we don't get taught about things like this in school, because people don't see how a lot more damage is done by not teaching children about mental health, and where to go if you or your family need help.
Mental health is not a taboo subject- and it shouldn't be treated as such. Suffering with a mental illness should be treated just as seriously as a broken leg, or a fractured arm. Though there may be no physical damage, the effect of living with an untreated condition can haunt someone for the rest of their life. It may even bring them to feel so incredibley alone that to them, suicide or self harm is the only way out.
One day I hope I will live in a world where I can go into the doctors and get treated for a mental health issue just as seriously as a doctor would treat an upset tummy. One day I want to live in a world where self harm is not seen as a way of getting attention, but a way to release emotions so dark, that hurting yourself is the only way to release the pain within. One day i want CHANGE. But hey- I'm just a kid. So why should you listen?
MENTAL HEALTH ISN'T A TABOO SUBJECT- CHANGE THE WAY ITS TREATED AND SAVE A LIFE.