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20 April 2017, 07:46
Lucy Beresford, host of the LBC Sex & Relationships Show, on why talking is so important to smashing the stigma around mental health.
Today LBC is playing its part in smashing the stigma around mental health.
We started the day by welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry who opened the Global Academy, and who spoke about their campaign Heads Together which aims to normalise conversations about mental health.
Earlier this week, in refreshingly candid interviews, both princes spoke movingly about the emotional impact of suddenly losing their mother when they were younger. Not only did they describe the psychological legacy of that tragic loss, but they stressed the benefits of opening up to someone about emotions, whether it’s to a family member, a friend or a trained counsellor.
As a psychotherapist and as someone who has benefitted from having weekly therapy, I’m passionate about giving people opportunities to tell their stories. It’s been a phenomenal few months in which the nation has heard footballers, newsreaders, mums and dads, rappers, soldiers, cricketers, journalists and yes, princes, share what goes on in their heads to remind us that it’s ok to drop the stiff upper lip and reveal our feelings.
Too often, people are nervous about admitting that they’re struggling with emotional issues. This fear of judgement stops them from seeking help. It can destroy families and even end lives. As the Duke of Cambridge said this week, there might well be times for a stiff upper lip but never at the expense of one’s health.
I’m immensely proud to be a part of LBC’s Mental Health Matters day. LBC is a station where ordinary people get the chance to speak. They might want to share their opinions about politics, legal issues or world events, but sometimes they just want to share their stories – what happened to them, how they coped, how they felt. Sometimes, as I know from my Sex & Relationship show, they are choosing to share this story for the very first time. It’s a big moment, a brave step, and one that should never be underestimated but always respected.
We can all play our part by listening to others, to ensure that people feel comfortable talking about mental wellbeing, or can support their friends and families through difficult times. None of us can truly know how another person is feeling just by looking at them or their life. This is why it’s OK to say: "how are things?"
"Can I help?"
"Do you want to talk?"
It costs nothing and yet can change lives. Try it today.