In all of my memory I have been living with ADHD, which is particularly isolating for young women. Because I live with ADHD as an adult, I’ve witnessed skepticism at best, and intolerance at worst, towards mental illness and psychiatric disorders. In almost all areas of my life I see people struggle to talk about times when they are struggling with their emotional and mental wellbeing, and I know first hand how exhausting and debilitating that silence can be.
Very recently, the lovely James Routledge of Sanctus came to visit the Lost My Name office to talk about mental health in start-ups (check out hiswriting, or ask if he can come and talk to your business). That talk hit me in a lot of ways:
— Professionally, I know that mental health support is something that every company should have front of mind. A few years ago Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that 15.2m days of sickness absence across the UK were caused by conditions such as stress, anxiety or depression.
— Personally, I’ve been having a rough time this year. I decided to bite the bullet and attend a Sanctus session run by James and a dear ex-colleague of mine, Shayan Qadir. I have to admit I was incredibly anxious and felt exposed before (and during) the session, and almost didn’t go at all.
I am so glad that I did.
I sat down afterwards to try and collect my thoughts, but every post I wrote felt contrived and static. I don’t claim to be an artist, but below was the best way I could explain the way I felt (and still feel most days)… and the way Sanctus helped me grapple with that feeling for the first time in months.
Thank you, James.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, perhaps Sanctus is for you… or perhaps one of the below contacts can help:
EU Standard Emotional Support Number 116 123 — Free and available in much of Europe, details here
Helplines for Men from thecalmzone.net:
ChildLine (childline.org.uk), for those 19 and under:
Directory of suicide-related services:http://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/suicide.php