Welcome to the first episode of the Plant Based Body Podcast.
There seems to be this stigma out there surrounding Mental Health.
Still. In 2019.
Why is it still shameful to express that you’re not doing the best?
Everyone struggles. Everyone has down days and everyone has moments where it all seems too much.
So it should make sense that we talk about it with our family and our friends and ask for help in these dark times right???
Unfortunately the answer is NO.
Far too many children, teenagers and adults are suffering in silence. They are trying to fight alone and it is a fight they are losing.
The new statistics show that suicide rates are at an all time high. Specifically among young men. 3 in 4 suicides are men.
What a horrible statistic.
But why men? Why do they lead this number?
Could it be the expectation that is placed on them from a young age to ‘be tough and get over it’?
What about the saying ‘boys don’t cry’?
It could be both of those things.
Unfortunately it doesn’t change the fact that many men are suffering in silence and they’re unable to get help before it’s too late!
But what would happen if men knew that it was okay to say they are not okay?
What if they were told that they could feel whatever it was they were feeling and that it was normal?
What if they knew it was okay to talk to others and share their feelings with other people, from a young age?
What if they knew that they would still be ‘a man’ even if they cried?
What if more men spoke out and normalised mental health among other men?
Well that is exactly why Nick Bell is my first guest on the Plant Based Body Podcast.
To speak out.
To say its okay to not feel okay.
To express that it’s okay to ask for help.
To break the stigma around mental health.
Nick is a young man.
Just like your brother, your cousin, boyfriend, husband, or your father or uncle used to be.
He works a normal job, he goes to uni and he loves sport and music just like any young man.
He has had his hard times and his good times too.
His life, like many others; has not been easy.
He has struggled with mental illness, thoughts of suicide and hopelessness.
However, he is still here.
Nick found himself at a point where his mental health had hit its lowest point. At times the emotion was too much and it overwhelmed him with sadness.
It was at this time that he decided to film a video. A video of him opening up about his situation, his life and being affected by mental health.
In this heart wrenching video Nick explains the depths of his depression and bares all, so that the viewer can truly see behind his usual charade of ‘that bubbly guy’.
No one had seen this side of Nick before. No one knew that he was struggling.
And it’s heart breaking to hear that he almost did something that he can never take back.
He posted this video to his Facebook, whilst he was overseas in Europe. It was a chance for him to finally express how he was feeling, to be free.
He received an overwhelming response of support and love from family, friends but also complete strangers. Something in his video resonated with others… ‘that everyone struggles’.
But, to bear your soul so openly comes at an extremely vulnerable price.
Will he be labeled as ‘the mental health guy’?
Will people treat him differently?
Will his friends still accept him the way he is?
Will people understand him?
He became a role model for others around him. He showed everyone that it’s okay to talk about how you are feeling and to let people see the real you. And that is all that matters.
The more people who talk about their struggle publicly, the more normalised it becomes.
The more normalised it is to seek help.
It is not weak to ask for help, it is brave.
It is admitting that you are not perfect, but you’re willing to work towards a better you.
There are many free resources out there for those who are in need of someone to talk to.
We mention a wonderful centre in Geelong called Headspace that has been a tremendous help to Nick and his wellbeing.
- We discuss the importance of taking a social media detox and getting off the web and focusing on your self for a while
- We discuss the importance of seeking help professionally and from family
- We discuss the benefits of getting out there and moving your body with exercise
It is impossible to know what is really going on behind a big beautiful smile.
Sometimes the biggest smile, hides the biggest heartache.
If someone you know is experiencing a hard time, be compassionate.
Open up your time to them and offer them company and support.
You don’t need to fix their problems. They don’t need you for that. Just simply sit and be with them. Keep them company and let them know that it’s okay to not be okay.
Reach out to the people you love, send a message of random love or a cute phone call.
Tell people how you feel about them, be brave, be vulnerable and be courageous.
And most importantly, seek help if you need to.
Because the only way we are going to break this stigma…
Is by smashing the fuck out of it.
I would like to thank Nick Bell for his honesty and his candour in this epsidode.
It takes a fearless and brave young man to do as he has done.
But the more people out there like Nick, the closer we are to breaking this stigma around mental health.
You can find Nick on Instagram Here
Be kind always xx