Mental Health Week – Words can hurt

As we head into Mental Health Week, I think it’s important we remember that words can HURT. I was reminded of that myself last week when I was too honest with sharing my opinions and observations and upset someone, I want to bring out the best in people and I was disappointed in myself for that. Overnight one of my Celebrity Apprentice cast mates learnt the same lesson when he re-tweeted this:

“Not really happy about a Murderer @MelGreigRadio being on Celebrity Apprentice, so I am out, your fired Mel Greig #CelebrityApprenticeAU”

When I first read that tweet, I just did what I do with all the other horrible tweets people feel the need to send me and I blocked him and I ignored it. Those tweets do not affect me at all, seriously it was 3 years ago and people just need to move on from it, I have. But a follower brought it to my attention that a Celebrity cast mate had re-tweeted it. The reason why I’m disappointed in him is because he’s setting a bad example, trolls shouldn’t be promoted. People shouldn’t use social media as a weapon and this is why; this isn’t about me or the celebrity involved (who has apologised and I appreciate that), that stuff is superficial and it’s not the real world but there is a bigger problem where words hurt the most, where acknowledging fault doesn’t happen often and it certainly can’t be fixed over chats and wine. Our children. Young people who are dealing with hurtful words every day and they don’t often have the tools to deal with it, as it stands Suicide is the biggest killer of young girls. This week alone I’ve had 2 parents and 1 teacher call me for advice on how to deal with bullying on social media, how do we stop the words from hurting?

The last school visit I went on, I met a young child who told me that they wanted to die. They were convinced it was the only way out. To hear that from someone whose life is just beginning is gut wrenching and disturbing. Thankfully they are getting help. How can we make people realise that words hurt and that they can have devastating effects? As well as low self-esteem, ruining confidence and creating confusing thoughts. If you are a parent, please sit down with your child today and talk to them about this. Remind them that words can hurt, from telling someone they aren’t pretty or no one likes them or to the extent of telling someone to kill themselves. Those words hurt. The advice I give to kids, is that unless someone has the guts to say it to your face, so you’re given the opportunity to defend yourself or talk it through, it means nothing. Don’t let those words hurt you, they are written by someone gutless looking for attention and we just need to rise above it. Remember that tomorrow is a new day, we get one chance at this life, keep smiling and don’t let people bring you down.

Mental Health issues affect 1 in 5 Australians. Please talk about mental health and please reach out to your support network if you need to, you don’t need to battle alone.

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