A poem to share in honour of World Mental Health Day

This World Mental Health Day, Geraldine Carton puts pen to paper to honour the importance of recognising mental health and supporting those who may be suffering.

Mental health is a tricky one,

You can’t tell from far away,

How well someone is doing,

Or how hard they’re finding each day.


Sometimes the downs seem never-ending

And the ups feel few and far between

And the happy front you show the world

Is not necessarily what it might seem.


The reality is no one’s normal or perfect

We all have sh*t to face each day

It’s just that people don’t open up because

The mental health topic still seems a bit “risqué”.


Mental health comes in many guises,

But the reality can be cruel and bleak

Not being able to leave your home for days

Feeling too vulnerable, too scared, too weak.


And yet, you wouldn’t expect anyone to run fast

With an ankle that’s battered and bruised

So why expect a someone to think straight, smile wide,

With a brain that’s hurting or confused.


X-rays can’t check mental health

You won’t hear its beat on a stethoscope

This is often why problems go left unchecked,

Why vulnerable people are left alone to cope.


We bottle it up, keep it under wraps

and generally stay shtum,

About an issue that could’ve been resolved,

If only we had told someone…


“Be positive” they say,

“Look on the bright side” they suggest,

This isn’t always easy to do, however

When you’re anxious, tired and stressed.


So how can you help someone,

Whose mental health you’re worried about?

Start by showing them they’re not alone;

Offer your hand, your time, reach out.


Let your sister know you’re here for her,

Let your friend know you care

Because it’s little gestures of kindness like this

That bring people out of a real-life nightmare.

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