#PostYourPill: Sheffield students react to Dr.Alex’s mental health campaign
‘He’s normalising the elements of mental health that are not talked about enough’
Last week, Dr Alex George, the UK’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador, posted a photo to Instagram of himself holding a pill. He captioned the image with details of his own personal journey with mental health, explaining that he takes medication alongside therapy and self care to help with anxiety.
In the post, he explained how he was not ashamed but proud to have taken control over his own health: “This does not make me weak or less able, it makes me stronger.”
The hashtag, #PostYourPill, has over a 3,000 posts under the tag and is continuing to grow every single day.
In Light of Dr Alex’s post, the Sheffield Tab spoke to students and the Sheffield Mind Charity to see how they felt about the campaign.
Margaret Lewis, CEO of Sheffield Mind, hadn’t heard of the campaign previously but said: “If it helps an individual feel less stigmatised about being on medication, then that seems positive”.
She added: “Many individuals also feel more empowered if they become more involved in their own treatment – having a say in their treatment, making their voice heard, and being supported if they’re not happy with their care.”
Hollie, third year student @ Hallam
Hollie, said “I think it’s a great campaign. It’s good to see people trying to reduce the stigma of medication because it’s not something that people should be ashamed of. It’s there to help.
Hannah, second year student @ Uni of:
Hannah said that Dr. Alex’s campaign is amazing. She feels the stigma around mental health has improved so much recently but, thinks that medication is often left out of the discussion.
She added: “We often talk about self care, therapy and exercise as coping strategies, but it’s rare to hear anyone openly talk about medication.
“Seeing Dr. Alex post so honestly has inspired me as a medical student to open the conversation up to the people around me.”
Abigail, second year student @ Uni of
Abigail said: “I was interested in the campaign because I myself have been a victim of the psychiatric medication stigma. I have been taking sertraline for eight months and it has completely changed my life.
“I think what Dr Alex is doing is fantastic. Medication has always been an available and effective option for people. He is normalising the elements of mental health that are not talked about enough.”
Archie, third year student @ Hallam
Archie said: “It’s refreshing to see someone with his following and platform speak out like this on social media. I hope the positive response it has received only encourages more people to do the same.”
James, third year student @ Hallam
James said: “I think it’s something that quite a lot of people consider to be quite private, but if people are willing to share it, that’s great.
“Not only does it increase awareness of the fact that people have and get treated for these issues, it shows that there are ways to treat mental health problems using medication just like most illnesses, which is something that people forget.”
For Uni of students, visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/student-wellbeing