Hi' I'm Matt Streuli, I'm a mental health advocate and this is my #mentalhealth blog. I survived suicide and I am the 'adult child' of an alcoholic. Aside from my radio show and being a pantomime theatre dame, I am a media volunteer for mental health charities such as MIND, a Time to Change Champion and a blogger for The Huffington Post. In 2015 I wrote an article for the CALM charity website and in 2016 my story was featured in an article in The Guardian newspaper.
#AskMatt - "Is all the openness on social media a good idea?"
I've decided that on top of my blog each Thursday(ish), I would launch a Q & A. If you would like to ask a question - any question, don't worry about being offensive! - then each week I will, try and answer it here. Tweet me your question using the hashtag #ASKMATT @MattStreuli
This week's question is whether being open about my mental health on this blog and social media is a good idea? Am I making myself a target?
Ahh social media… I share your concern. It can be a double edged
sword – so to speak. I find it a way of processing and expressing how I feel
and how that relates to how I think – the two are not always the same. I know I
should be proud of where I am and I am doing OK but how I feel is far different. I can’t get the two to meet in the middle.
Publishing it all online here blog
form means that people can read it if they want to. Some people are scared of
me. Some people are scared of asking how I am in case they don’t know how to
deal with the answer. That is the stigma of mental health. Putting it on my
blog is a very non-confrontational way of expressing how I am doing. If
‘friends’ read it and want to engage with me, they can – and I’ve had support
from friends recently I haven’t heard from in years. At the same time, people I
considered close friends have drifted apart and maybe I scare them or whatever
but it shows what sort of friend they actually are.
On the scale of mental health, today I am actually pretty good. I’m
functioning and in a steady job so I’m nowhere near bad enough to be a major
concern for the NHS. Hence the slow approach.
If my blog can be read
by people and helps them understand mental health or why I may feel or act the
way I do rather than just thinking I’m some moody git – that has to be a good
thing. If my blog inspired a few people to sign that petition for fair funding for
mental health I featured a week or so ago… that’s brilliant. Suicide is the biggest cause of death in young
men in the UK. I feel that because I am in a better place than many of those in
mental health treatment, I feel responsible for fighting the fight. Which I guess marries up to the whole ‘taking care of people’ thing that is in my emergency programming.
Thank you for being supportive and giving it a read I am much better
today than I was a few weeks ago. All I can do is keep trying.
Tweet me your question using the hashtag #ASKMATT @MattStreuli