Hmm, I’m not too sure how to start, let alone write, this kind of thing but here it goes – Hi. I’m Ashling and I’ve been asked by my friend, Siobhán to write a post for this blog.
When I first met Siobhy it was around the time of the Junior Certificate stress was kicking in. So it wasn’t until the summer when I really got to know her. I always knew she was struggling with a mental illness as she was honest from the beginning of our friendship. It didn’t bother me to begin, but as her condition escalated our group and I began to worry. Being friends with a person who has a mental illness does open your eyes. Even as clichéd as that sounds it’s true. I didn’t really know a lot about depression before I met Siobhy. Now because I’m involved with our positive mental health campaign and because I’m interested in Siobhán’s well-being I am more educated on the matter now. It makes you view the world differently to be honest, but I am happier now that I can see it. I think everyone should be educated about mental health as it may encourage people to be more grateful and understanding. It gives the person a greater perception on the world and the significance of a problem in relation to others.
It has affected me in more good ways than bad. Although it did cause me a lot of worry and stress, the good outcomes outweigh these negatives. I feel that I am more aware of issues around me in the world, due to personal experience, my college course as a social worker and most definitely being good friends with a person suffering from a mental illness. I am very proud of where Siobhy is today. She has come through so much, and now devotes her precious, little spare time (due to for coming exams) on helping reducing the negative stigma attached to mental illness and promoting positive mental health! I think she’s doing terrific and I have her to thank for opening my sheltered eyes and mind to a whole different perspective of the world. Thanks :)