Lucy is a young #ItMatters advocate. Her Instagram account “Diary of a Suicidal Teen” has particularly helped many young people struggling with suicidal thoughts.
‘Man up.’ ‘Toughen up.’ This is the message that was spread to the entire county by news broadcaster Piers Morgan. A cruel and unnecessary message. The phrase ‘man up’ is completely unnecessary. Why should we be forced to hide our emotions, when now, more than ever, it is so important for us to show what we believe in? What Piers Morgan clearly fails to understand is how incredibly tough and strong those who are struggling with their mental health are. It takes so much strength to be able to wake up every morning to fight the same demons one couldn’t defeat the night before. It is the same as telling someone with a broken arm to stop complaining and do some push-ups.
In light of Piers Morgan’s comment, ItMatters UK set up #ListenToUs campaign to promote the need to confront the presenter on his comments. The campaign encouraged everyone to send in emails and letters to ask ITV show Good Morning Britain to host one of their champions so that mental health can be properly shown without damaging others. I believe that this movement is incredible and deserves to be hosted there. The campaign has spread like wildfire across Instagram which led to a flurry of emails being sent but to no avail. Currently, Good Morning Britain has not yet responded which further shows how the media is terrified to speak up about mental health.
The proper coverage of mental health in the media is vital to ensure that myths are not broadcasted and instead, young people feel supported and protected. When I was first diagnosed five years ago, I couldn’t help but feel lonely. Even though everyone told me that many people also struggle with their mental health, no one in the media spoke up about it and I felt so alone. People would continually tell me that “one in four struggle” as well, but whenever I tried to talk to someone about it, I was labelled as “crazy” and that I “shouldn’t mention it”. It was as though there was a huge taboo around the topic and people were scared to even mention it – similar to He Who Must Not Be Named.
But I don’t want to live in fear or hide my struggles away from the world anymore. Now is the time to speak out and hope that they #ListenToUs.
You can keep up to date with #ItMatters, here.