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Mark Avison on Mental Health Awareness


Mark Avison on Mental Health Awareness

As a Health & Social Care distance learning provider, here at SVT we always recognise the importance to support and highlight issues within our Health & Social Care community.

As a member of the SVT team, my personal support is of Mental Health awareness, especially within our children and young people. Within our young, the illness is reportedly on the increase and largely goes undetected early enough before the effects can take a life changing hold. As we all know, mental health issues have recently received the support of Heads Together Charity, founded by our younger senior Royals. The charities profile has been further highlighted by people from the world of sport, music, film and television from which we can all identify, and realise that whoever we are, we can all be affected at some point in our lives. This has also helped to drive pressure on our government and local authorities to address the major lack of resources needed to treat and support those affected within our communities. This need is not just for those who suffer, but to help educate society, raise awareness and as individuals, enable us to help and support everyone effected.

Since I was a young child, I have always been aware of mental health and the causes and consequences to both the sufferer and to those closely around them. This illness overwhelmed my own mother, who frequently suffered severe bouts of mental health illness throughout her life. At times, her illness could be controlled at home, simply with medication. Other times, it could be so severe she would need to be treated in a more secure environment. Living in and around this environment meant that I could identify with the signs and symptoms in others of my own age, such as peers at school and other young people I encountered. I remember some would outwardly show their symptoms, others more inwardly.

As this illness comes in so many forms, with such a varied range of effects, my understanding and support would come in the form of chats with some, with others the intervention on persons around who were a part of the effects of their illness, and sometimes something as simple as going out somewhere new for a day, just to allow their mind to settle for a short while. Sadly, for some their illness became too overwhelming and they did not survive life, others, with that support and understanding, managed to control and in some cases even overcome their illness and then have gone on to lead full and happy lives.

As I then entered my adult years, that awareness and support has always continued. It may be just a simple chat with an individual who is feeling down, to voluntary work within vulnerable communities with issues such as homelessness, drug addiction and sexual abuse. All of which are affected by the issues surrounding mental health.

My point in this Blog is, like with cancer, mental health will affect us all at some point in our lives. This may be as a sufferer or being around someone who is suffering, but no matter how little or great that support you may be able give, it could just help in some way to change the shape of a young person’s life.

I often wonder about the lives of our students taking our Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership in Health and Social Care and think about their motivations. In health and well-being there could be so many motivating factors for people who have not only decided to work in this industry, but in particular, are trying to improve and develop their skills to help others. 

Mark Avison