One of the hardest parts was the inability to express my struggles.
Jon Robinson is our People Partner for Older Adults and Specialities, he is also Chair of our Neurodiversity Staff Network, but behind the 9-5 role, Jon has experienced various challenges in his life that for Men’s Mental Health Month he kindly wanted to share. This is Jon’s story.
“This Men’s Mental Health Month, I want to share my journey – a testament to hope and resilience amidst the challenges of mental health. My story is about living with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Autism and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and how I navigated through the darkest of times to a life filled with hope and stability.
Living with PTSD has been a battle against haunting memories and constant anxiety. The flashbacks, the sleepless nights, and the overwhelming sense of fear made everyday life an uphill struggle. It’s a condition often misunderstood, leading many to suffer in silence. My diagnosis of Autism and ADHD added another layer to this complex puzzle. The sensory overloads, the social challenges, and the often-accompanying mental health issues made finding my place in the world even more difficult.
One of the most heart-wrenching chapters in my life was losing a child in my family last Christmas. The grief and pain were profound, impacting every aspect of my mental health. It’s a type of loss that’s indescribable and one that leaves a permanent mark on your soul. This tragedy brought forward a unique set of emotional challenges, emphasising the intricate connection between personal loss and mental wellbeing.
One of the hardest parts was the inability to express my struggles. As a man, societal norms often dictated that showing vulnerability was a sign of weakness, particularly in my community in Northern Ireland, where I grew up. This silence only deepened my isolation. However, through my journey, I’ve learned that speaking up about mental health is not just brave, it’s essential for healing.
My experiences as a service user in the Trust were eye-opening. They provided me with insights and tools that I now use in my role within the same organisation. I’ve seen the system from both sides, and this unique perspective has been invaluable in my work and personal growth.
There were moments when the light at the end of the tunnel seemed non-existent – my lowest points. Yet, here I am today, a proud father and husband, with a fulfilling job and a place I call home. This transformation wasn’t easy, but it was possible.
“To anyone struggling in silence, you are not alone. Your journey might be fraught with challenges, but remember, it’s also filled with potential for change and growth. This Men’s Mental Health Month, let’s break the silence and embrace the journey towards better mental health, together.”
Don’t feel like you have to suffer in silence, there is always someone to listen to you.
Please talk to someone. Call us on 0121 262 3555.
Published: 22 November 2023