A question that I keep on asking myself is this: When it comes to raising awareness of mental health-related issues. Can I really make a difference?
It’s all too easy to get caught up on things these days. It’s easy to think that making a difference means changing the world, standing on the biggest platform and shouting out with the loudest voice or being acknowledged as an expert, giving lots of praise, and having thousands of followers on social media.
When you don’t even have anything close to this, you can sometimes question whether it is really worth carrying on. On some days I do ask myself this question and can find myself a little despondent. I am trapped in thinking that I can’t be making a difference because I don’t have any real evidence to back up the fact that I am. I would certainly struggle if asked to ‘prove’ I was making a difference, that’s for sure.
How many followers do you have on Instagram? Not that many.
How many likes or views do you get on your videos? A few.
How many people read the last article you wrote? Not as many as I would have liked.
It can be tough and really easy to lose perspective. What is so easy to forget is that ‘making a difference can be the tiniest of things and sometimes the tiniest of things can make a massive difference in someone’s life. Something I cannot allow myself to forget. If just one person, from all the months I have been doing this, from all the time I have spent writing things, making videos and speaking and talking etc. is influenced to make even the slightest positive change in their lives then it will have all been worth it.
If it is someone reaching out for help, feeling that they are not alone or just comforted on a particularly hard day then that is reason to continue doing what I am doing. I may never get any kind of acknowledgement from anyone who may have benefited and that is OK, I cannot expect it or use it as a reason to give up or do something else.
If I proceed, thinking that I have to change the world for millions of people, I am ultimately doomed to fail. But If I proceed thinking that there is the chance that I can change the world for just that one person albeit on a small scale then I can rest assured that what I am doing is of merit and should continue.
So I suppose the answer to my question is yes. I can make a difference; it is just a matter of perspective. And maybe this is it; if we can all just do the tiniest of things, listening to a friend, being open in discussing our emotions, not making a snap judgement on someone then maybe we can all make a little different when it comes to raising awareness of mental health issues.
Then, it’s just possible that collectively we can bring about some really big positive changes, we should not leave this in the hands of the people who ‘seem’ to have the most influence. We don’t have to set out to change the world we just need to be committed to doing what we can when we can, safe in the knowledge that as that rather cliché adage goes ‘every little helps’. When we lose sight of that, we start to question ourselves and lose that greater perspective on things. We can all make a difference as long as we try.