MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY – 10/10/2018
I thought I would write a blog about Mental Health Awareness Day, which is a topic close to my heart given my own personal experience with depression over the years.
Depression affects 1 in 4 people at some point in their lives and it’s something that never leaves you. It lurks in the background waiting to make its presence felt at the most inopportune moment and when you notice and feel everything that goes on around you more than most people, its effects can be (and are) magnified.
Firms often make the right noises and platitudes about making positive changes to address the issue of mental health in the workplace, yet in reality it’s depressing to know and realise that it is just that with no real desire to make a difference and the primary aim being to promote the business as one that cares about its employees as part of its own self promotion and avoid having blood on their hands.
I thought I would try and make a difference to someone’s life today and offer to buy a sandwich for someone who I often see sat on a sleeping bag with his dog and a cardboard notice. I handed him the sandwich of his choice and asked his story, only to be floored by a brazen reply along the lines that he has a flat that has just been carpeted and he only has to put a few hours in here and there to top his giro up and doesn’t need to work. He did say that he had drug and alcohol issues years ago, but that didn’t detract from the fact that I felt conned.
I could only look in dismay as he was packing up to meet his Mother for a coffee and say, “I thought you were homeless”. He shook my hand, thanked me for the sandwich and strolled off on his merry way having took advantage of kind hearted people who genuinely believed that he was down on his luck and wanted to help him out. No doubt he will be back tomorrow and the next day after to put in his shift outside a busy block of offices and the Co-Op with his props (an old army jacket, dog, a dirty sleeping bag, a cardboard notice and a back-pack) to fleece other generous folk.
I am a great advocate of justice and fairness, which was the driving force of writing and publishing my first book and setting up this website to help the underdog right wrongs and seek redress.
Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. I judge myself by my own standards and not by those that judge me by theirs and whilst I am not perfect, I do aspire to be the best person I can be. I just felt a deep sense of disappointment today in being taken advantage of when I wanted to do a small act to make the world a better place.
You may ask what the point of this blog is? There is no point really, other than to say that my faith in human nature badly needs restoring and to take nothing or no-one’s word at face value.
If you have enjoyed reading this, feel free to take a look at my other website www.awriterinedinburgh.com which showcases my writing and how you can work with me.