Transgender Awareness Week 2018

Like physical health problems, mental health problems are very common.

Nearly half the population will meet the criteria for a mental illness diagnosis at some stage during their lives, and one in five of us will experience depression in any given year. 

For the LGBTQ+ community the likelihood of suffering from mental illness (Depression, Anxiety, Mood Disorders etc) are even more common. And the risks for suicide are five times higher.

I personally struggled for a long time battling against my mental health issues and not reaching out for help. I can tell you that there is support out there. There are good people in the system that are trying to make a difference, and that if you are struggling or in crisis you need to reach out. It is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of trying too hard for too long.

Mental health issues are common place and quite "normal".  Unfortunately there is still a stigma around mental health, and that needs to change. Thankfully there are many good New Zealander's out there fighting for that to happen.

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call 111.

If you need to talk to someone, the following free helplines operate 24/7:

Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor. 

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or text 234

There are lots of places to get support. For others, click here.

~Amanda Ashley 

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