Why is mental health important to you?
For me, it’s always been there. So much so that I can’t remember a time where I haven’t seen someone close to me suffer from it. I think I’ve dipped in and out of suffering with it most of my life. I’m now passionate about promoting it because of the consequences experienced first-hand. Mental health seems so under-supported yet the consequences couldn’t be higher. It’s a silent killer and we do not talk about it enough.
I personally experienced an episode last year whereby I was very suicidal. I found comfort in the thought of taking my life yet now understand how bad that sounds.
From the outside looking in, I understand how people would think I shouldn’t be suffering. I have a job, a good income, a house, go on many holidays per year. Yet none of this mattered.
Stress was coming from work and was building up, constantly worrying where my career was going. My Doctor had seen it building and would often comment to me that “we were back here again” yet I seemed incapable of breaking the cycle.
I never felt strong enough to deal with the root cause. I would simply get through it by temporarily fixing or hiding from the problem.
It felt like I was in a room with a television on 100% volume with no way of turning it down. That ending my life was the only thing that brought comfort to be away from that place.
I genuinely feel that if id not received the right support at the right time, I wouldn’t be here anymore.
My journey has made me incredibly passionate to promote the benefits of the Mental Health services and wish to help others find the support they need.
What have you learnt from your mental health journey?
Ultimately, that I'm not invincible. That its hugely important to look after your mental health as much, if not more so than your physical health and wellbeing.
The gym used to be the outlet I used to release the positive endorphins needed to keep my mind healthy and feelings in check. Once I had children, attending the gym became a rarity for me and I didn’t replace a method of keeping my mental wellbeing in check. The pressures experienced in my life didn’t change, just my outlet of coping did.
I’ve learnt that we have to do something daily to improve and keep your mind healthy. That it is just as important as dieting and running for your positivity and wellbeing.
It changes the way you think. Originally a thought to take a walk on the beach may have been met with, “can I be bothered, im not feeling it”, yet now I think that walk, that fresh air, that being present in the moment will set me up for tonight, will set me up for tomorrow and will genuinely help my brain.
Mental exercise is now hugely important to me. I now incorporate music into my day as feel It can completely shift my mindset. Hearing sounds, relaxing and keeping calm has a big effect on mood. I now go out of my way to do things in my day solely to improve my mood.
Sam is a teenager from West Norfolk and he surpassed his fundraising expectations by raising over £2,500 for Norfolk and Waveney Mind.
In a massive fundraising effort consisting of quizzes, raffle and a tandem skydive Sam Bayfield smashed his target of £250. Sam explained: “I decided to raise money for Norfolk and Waveney Mind as this was a charity close to my heart. We probably all know somebody who has been affected by mental health issues in some form or another. Mental health is often overlooked, especially in our rural communities and I decided I’d endeavour to do my part to make a change locally.”
With the help of his friends and family, Sam took to fundraising in his Gap year before attending university this year. Sam continued: “The money raised is going towards a new suicide prevention and aftercare system that is about to begin operation in North Norfolk. Everyone who donated and helped has been extremely generous and myself and the team at Norfolk and Waveney Mind are incredibly thankful.”