Looking through the periscope at mental illness- as in, through an old-fashioned instrument submerged beneath water, to observe from a safe distance, a huge area…using mirrors redirecting light – from the perspective of the ‘straight-thinking persons’ eye if you like, is a way to describe how society still looks at mental health issues.
The periscope was used in warfare. To observe a field of vision from behind enemy lines. To observe the battlefield from a position below it where you needn’t put your head above the line of enemy guns.
In many ways, this is typically the vantage point people prefer when observing the no-mans land that IS a mental health experience. A stalemate position between two sides, overlooking a vast area strewn with the bodies of those going through the agony of mental illness.
Yet today- with the unleashing of various different campaigns, and social movements, those ‘able-bodied’ conscripted soldiers on either side, are gradually coming around to the idea of bringing back the injured- risking the hurdle over the top into an unknown land- trying to reach those experiencing injuries and stress that they do not know (as of yet). The mental health movement is moving forwards. Ideas are changing.
This is partly the premise of #mentalmovement. An online platform, dedicated to ‘Never leaving a man behind’. Set-up by those who, have visited such desolate places as the internal war that IS mental health issues. And come back ALIVE. Rescued whether through their own strength, crawling back to the place they came from, recovering, rehabilitating. Or by those who always help out. As humanity always seems to.
It will feature stories, successes, events, exhibitions, artists who are doing outstanding work. But not in the usual format. Not in the format where the compulsion is to sob for ourselves. Or the past. Or for what might have been lost with such life-changing experiences. But to celebrate and embrace the furtive nature of living with labels. All of which, are far more necessary for those who have not experienced it as such. It will be based upon creating a paradigm shift in the way that mental illness is looked at.
If you are concerned about the mental health of you or someone you know, talk to Mind on 0300 123 3393 or at their website, here.
More Mental Health coverage on #MentalMovement