If you had a broken leg

Hello everyone,

Time for our third post. This time we want to talk about stigma; what it is and why we need to beat it!! We feel that this is particularly relevant due to the fact that Eating Disorder Awareness Week begins tomorrow!!

So what is stigma when it comes to mental health?

Stigma is the view that society as a whole has of mental illness.

Society seems to hold the view that those who suffer from mental illness merely need to ‘cheer up’, ‘be more positive’ and that sufferers have brought the illness on themselves.

Being mentally ill is, in the eyes of society, a sign of weakness.

These views are damaging to anyone affected by mental illness. If you are already feeling alienated, isolated and vulnerable because of a mental illness, society’s negative views are hardly likely to help you on your road to recovery.

How is it that if you break your leg or are diagnosed with a life-threatening physical illness you are sent cards, flowers, friends visit you and are sympathetic towards you, some even start fundraising for you; yet if you are diagnosed with a mental illness you are isolated, told to ‘cheer up’ and ignored?

If you broke your leg no one would tell you to carry on walking on it, even though it’s broken. They also wouldn’t tell you to fix it yourself. So why is it that people think these ideas apply to mental illness?

If all anyone needed to do was ‘cheer up’ and ‘snap out of it’, mental illness wouldn’t be an issue. If it were so simple to solve there would be less than 1 in 4 people suffering.

Here at Milking it for Money we want to break down this stigma. We want mental and physical health to be equally important in the eyes of society! We want people to feel comfortable when speaking openly about their experiences of mental illness and to talk about any issues they’re facing.

What’s the key to tackling stigma?

TALKING!! Talk about mental illness, talk talk talk!

Whether it affects you directly, indirectly or you just know someone who is struggling. The more we talk about it the less stigma there will be and the more we will empower those who suffer from mental illness.

If you have no idea where to start with talking about mental illness, look it up, start to learn and then discuss it with other people.

It’s amazing how many people are affected by mental illness; it affects everyone at some point in their lives. Starting a conversation can be daunting but it’s so rewarding to find out just how many people are affected by mental illness.

No one needs to deal with stigma whilst they’re already battling their own demons! They need to be in a supportive, caring environment in order to open up about their struggles and begin their recovery.

So keep talking, start as many conversations as possible about mental health and one day we will beat the stigma surrounding it!

Lets help the 1 in 4; before it becomes 4 in 4!

Take care, stay positive and don’t bottle it up!

Advertisements

We made it into the local news!!

Hiya everyone

As you may be able to tell we’re super excited that an article has been written about us in the Chester Chronicle!!

Click HERE to see the article!

image

We’re so proud of this, it’s a huge step for us!

We promise to get more blog posts to you in the coming weeks.

Keep following us and supporting us; thank you for the support!

Take care and don’t bottle it up! x

Hello potential milkees

Hello everyone,

So we thought for our first post we’d introduce ourselves, talk about our journey, what we do and what to expect from us.

Where did our milky adventure start? In a Contract Law lecture, obviously. Our lecturer always did a short ‘off topic topic’ in the middle of the lecture to ensure we stayed focused. One day he showed us a video of people pouring milk over their heads, they were on roundabouts, in the street and on bikes. He then dared us to come up with a good enough reason for him to have to pour milk over his head.

Game on!

It took some convincing but after wrappng a 6 pint bottle of milk in a box, badgering for months and several serious meetings we managed it. He agreed! The only caveat to that…we had to pour milk over our heads as well.

So in 2013 we formed ‘Milking it for Money’ (MIFM), we raised over £600 for Mind and the 3 of us poured 6 pints of actual milk over our heads. The only error we made was leaving the milk in the fridge before throwing it over ourselves. I can honestly say that I have never had brain freeze from the outside in, until this moment.

Since then we have covered over 100 people in more than 600 ‘pints’, 100 cream pies, over 10 buckets of TV gunge and raised money for some amazing charities; all in the name of mental health!

Why have we chosen mental health? Why should we care about this?

I’m sure you’re all aware of the statistic that 1 in 4 of us will be affected by a mental health issue at some point in our lives. It’s a commonly known statistic about an issue that society still cannot accept; no matter how common it is. The stigma surrounding mental health issues is soul-destroying to those already battling their inner demons and the more we talk about the topic the more we combat the stigma.

We are aware that mental health issues can strike anyone at any time, no matter who you are or where you are. We also know that moving away from home and starting university can trigger mental health issues or aggravate exisitng issues. This is why we promote mental well-being and speaking up about mental illness within the student community.

We understand that people who suffer from mental health issues do not need to deal with the stigma surrounding it. We want to make society easier to live in when you’re vulnerable and living with a mental illness. We want to encourage people to speak up about their experiences with mental health, whether they are directly affected or if they know someone who lives with a mental illness. We want to encourage people to talk about any issues they are facing in their lives in order to promote mental-wellbeing. We want society to wake up to the realities of mental illness and stop blaming the individuals who suffer for their suffering.

We hope this blog will keep you updated on our progress, document people’s experiences of mental illness and continue to break down the stigma and taboo that shrouds mental illness.

So what about people who don’t understand mental illness?

We never ever want to speak negatively of those who are yet to understand mental illness. We get that it’s a complex issue and it can take people time to accept and understand it. Our only hope is that people are willing to learn about mental illness and to accept it as being as important as physical illness. We want to help people understand the importance of mental well-being and how mental illness affects people around them. We never condone negativity towards those who don’t understand mental illness.

Why two charities? Isn’t that just more work for you?

In our first year we chose to just support Mind. But as we saw how successful Milking it for Money was we decided we’d like to help charities in our local area as well. In our opinion we may as well support as many good causes as possible. Supporting causes locally also helps to promote a better image of students; we’re not drunk throughout the entire course of our degree, we promise!

Each year we support a different local charity. We have previously supported the Human Milk Bank Fund, Chester Zoo and now we’re suporting Miles of Smiles!

Is it all this serious?

No definitely not. The causes we fundraise for are serious and very close to our hearts. But the ways in which we raise money are anything but serious!

You can expect to see funny videos and pictures from our events throughout the year and updates on our other adventures.

We hope you can support us in our milky adventure to raise awareness of and beat the stigma surrounding mental illness!

Tweet us, Instagram us, Facebook us and donate to us!

We need all the support we can get; stigma isn’t going to stamp itself out without your help! So if you want to get involved, give us ideas or tell us how to improve please get in touch!

For now take care, stay positive and don’t bottle it up!!