‘Be less judgmental on mental health issues’
On Thursday afternoon, I wrote a Facebook status about mental health.
I made reference to my eldest brother, Iain Lee, who is finding himself subject to intense public scrutiny as he competes in ITV’s hit show I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!
As a hesitant user of social media, my intentions weren’t to start a dialogue about Iain’s mental health issues. Instead, I hoped to offer a stark reminder that we should all be kinder. In an unkind world, compassion often takes a back seat.
It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and pass judgment – but you don’t realise the effect this can have, until it hits closer to home.
I don’t need to construct a vigorous defence of Iain, just because he has fallen victim to something that is characteristic of the human condition.
Iain’s time in the jungle has illustrated both a significant lack of, and abundance of, empathy in the world. For every negative article, or comment, there has been an outpouring of supportive messages, commending his efforts.
Like any illness, those that do not suffer from it cannot begin to understand the impact it can have upon your life.
It can be debilitating, consuming and devastating, all at the same time.
However, it is important that we do not meet ignorance with defiance; we simply must learn to educate people in how to be more understanding, and kinder.
I’d like to remind everyone of the often misattributed words of Ian Maclaren: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
“It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and pass judgment”