A Letter About Mental Health for my Children



Becky is a Mum to two young boys, a Wife and a Daughter to Dad with Alzheimer's. She's a secondary school teacher, mental health advocate and depression sufferer. Becky is trying to do her bit to shatter the stigma which surrounds depression.

Dear my gorgeous boys,

When you are older I will explain to you what depression is. I will tell you how it affects me and that it is an illness. I will encourage you to show empathy, understanding and kindness to others when they need you.

What do I want you to know about depression? What do I want you to know about your mum? What do I want you to know about yourselves?

Most importantly I want you to know it’s ok to share your emotions. It’s also ok to not be ok. I want to encourage you to talk about how you feel. I want you to know I will always listen without judgement if you need to let it out.

It is important to know that mental health is important for everyone. Physical health and mental health both need consideration and looking after. I hope you live in a world that becomes kinder and fairer to those who have a mental health.

I believe that you will grow up to be people who will understand mental illness better than me. I’m hoping my openness will ensure it is something that is not kept secret but brought out in the open. I believe you will help others.

I am sorry my dear boys for all the times my depression has got in the way of our family time. I’m sorry for the times I have been so low for no reason I have gone to bed. I’m sorry when my mood has been so bad I have snapped at the slightest thing. I’m sorry I haven’t felt like doing much some days. I’m sorry some days I have been distant and vacant, physically but not mentally present.

But I hope you know mental illness doesn’t make you any less of a person. It is not something to hide. It is not something to be ashamed of. I hope you know that you can still have an amazing career and a lovely family life if you get the right support.

Boys I hope you won’t suffer like I do. I hope this illness is not something you have to learn to cope with like me. But boys if it is I’m trying to educate more people so that you may have a smoother ride. So that more people may understand. So that more people may help.

Boys if you’re lucky enough to have great mental health I will help educate you on how to support others. I hope you will be there for the ones you love, friends or colleagues. I hope you will listen.

Love your