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Today is World Mental Health Day, a day for mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

Although it is widely recognised that (in the UK) 1 in 4 people will experience some form of mental health issue each year, the stigma surrounding it is still so great as to stop people seeking help.

It costs lives.

I knew I had to reach out before I got to breaking point, yet am still not as open as I should be. Others aren't so lucky.

If you're struggling, talk to someone. If you're fortunate enough to not be affected (at least not at the moment) then keep an eye on those around you and just ask if they are okay. Let them then know it's okay to talk and they won't be judged or dismissed.

Let them know you're there and will listen, even if you don't, and perhaps can't, understand.

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I didn't really explain part of what I meant when I wrote:

"And that's what I want to separate: the role itself from what it means to you as a person and what it allows you to be."

Bethany followed up on my post saying "how do you build self-compassion while ensuring your identity reflects your values?"

Your personal values are exactly what I was referring to here, not necessarily the specifics of individual roles but what those roles mean to you as a person and what they enable you to do, especially out of the context of the roles themselves. Even if a role no longer applies you can take the meaning, the passion and reapply them to other things.

Your values are part of what it truly means to be you, regardless of any roles you may take on. We may not always live up to or in accordance with them so must have self-compassion for when slip below our own standards.

Colin Walker
Colophon. Content: CC NY-BC 2.0 UK, Code: GPLv3
Colin Walker Colin Walker

Thinker, writer, ideas man. Blogger & microcaster.