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Mental Health in an Unequal World: Societal Barriers and Lack of Understanding

You may have often heard the saying life is unfair! Another popular saying often used: ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ which is supposed to encourage optimism and a positive attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. However, it is not as simple as that for some individuals.

The fact of the matter is life is unfair – which is a bitter pill to swallow. It almost seems like double jeopardy for those who live with mental health issues. There are many different types of mental health illnesses, however unlike physical disabilities they can carry the weight of stigma, secrecy, and shame, often being misunderstood.

Let us take a moment and try to understand the difficulties that people dealing with mental health issues may encounter, and additional barriers that prevent them from living a normal life, aspects of life that we may take for granted.

The realities of dealing with mental health issues

Some individuals with poor mental health struggle to get up out of bed, or to complete normal activities of daily life. For some of us, we just go about our day without putting much thought into it, however for someone experiencing mental health issues, popping out for milk could be a mammoth task which takes all their energy, leave them feeling exasperated and hopeless.

Some individuals feel like they have a cloud constantly looming over them, or feel they are trapped on an emotional rollercoaster ride experiencing intrusive thoughts.

Sadly many people simply do not realise this is the reality for many in our society, that things they take for granted are not easy, or even possible for people who are going through a period of poor mental health. 

If we can continue to raise awareness, that’s one step in the right direction. Let’s all be more thoughtful and considerate, and educate ourselves so that we can better help those who need our support. Even miniscule changes can have a ripple effect. May we all strive towards making this a better world.


By Shelley Kohli

Information and Advice Team Leader


Click here for immediate mental health support, or visit our resources page for more information on mental health

Posted on: 8th October 2021

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