A person may be smiling, they may have done their hair and makeup, they may seem completely “together”, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy and well.
Blogger Leyah Shanks has posted a poignant reminder of this by sharing a photo of herself when she was struggling with mental ill health.
“This was taken before this year’s summer. At this point, I had not long had a breakdown and came very close to attempting to take my own life,” she captioned the image.
“Simultaneously, I battled to get through the second year of my university degree. Just from looking at me, do you think you would have known that?”
Leyah went on remind her 22,000 followers to always be compassionate towards others because you never know what they might be going through.
“Be kind to others. You never know what demons they’re battling beyond their exterior,” she said.
Leyah is the latest in a group of bloggers highlighting the importance of not making assumptions about someone’s mental health based on their appearance.
Last month Milly Smith, who runs the Instagram account Self Love Club, told the world mental illness does not have “one face” by sharing two contrasting photos of her taken when she was having suicidal thoughts.
“In both these photos I’m suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around,” Millie told her followers.
“Stop the judgment. Stop the stigma.”
For help and support relating to suicide and metal illness, contact the organisations below:
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org