Anamoli: I never really classified myself as a mental health advocate. More as a gobby lass from Chesterfield who doesn’t know when to shut up. I’ve suffered various mental illnesses and mental health problems all my life. I’ve been misdiagnosed, had diagnoses kept secret from me, in hospitals, police cells and therapy offices. I have been on and off and away on several medications.
I’ve been kicked out of hospital and rehabs because of my mental ill health and I’ve been slandered and lied about and set up because of my mental health issues and the stigma that comes with the diagnosis of BPD. When I finally realized that the fact that I am still alive and kicking after many attempts to take my life, several of which were very close calls, has got to mean something; I’m not meant to die, well not yet, and not by my own hands or my own mind.
I started a support group on Facebook for ppl with BPD and CPTSD and then I had the idea for the Masked Are We campaign. Since doing this I’ve had people all over the country and world in fact, messaging me, to thank me, or ask my advice or share part of their story with me. It’s been amazing. I also co-wrote a petition to encourage the Department of Health in the UK to reassess the funding cuts that have recently been made to NHS mental health services.
Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. #Maskedarewe
Upload your masked Selfies for BPD Awareness Month here with the hashtag #maskedarewe
In light of the awareness and impact that the No Make-up Cancer Awareness Selfies, I had this idea to raise awareness for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) , also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).BPD Awareness Month is May. So the idea is, starting from the 1st of May, we flood Facebook and other Social Media sites with selfies with a twist: WE WEAR MASKS.The reason I chose to feature masks in this campaign is that individuals with BPD often feel pressured by society, friends, family and organisations to MASK their symptoms and keep their illness a secret. If a flare up occurs, the stigma attached to the diagnosis makes it difficult for people to get the help and support they need. This often means that sufferers have to deal with it all alone, which is extremely dangerous and can often lead to A and E admissions (where patients are often treated very badly, with out respect or compassion) , hours and hours in police cells without seeing any medical professional, psychiatric hospital admissions and DEATH.
The government have recently made MASSIVE cuts to the funding that goes into Mental Health Services so even when people are ‘lucky’ enough to get treatment, or support, it is often cut short or stopped because of funding issues. Or effective treatments cannot be offered to patients because the funding is not available within their trust.I personally believe that Mental Health Awareness, Funding and Research are just as vital as for any physical illness. But we need to get rid of this notion of MH being less important , the patients fault or even a ploy to get sympathy or attention seeking. THE STIGMA NEEDS TO END. NOW!
So back to the event:
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE BPD TO JOIN IN AND SUPPORT THE CAUSE! CAN JOIN IN. If you wish to participate but remain anonymous, please send your selfie to admin’s inbox and your photo shall be uploaded anonymously to the page.
You can chose whatever you want the mask to show.
Masks can be home-made, customized, bought, face-painted, make up or any other creative idea you might have but must include the hashtag #maskedarewe You can donate to Mind or Rethink
You can sign and share this petition:
TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. “If we can find money to kill people, we can find money to help people” – Tony Benn “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Kathryn Stockett, The Help