Today is my friend Anna's birthday. She would blow out 42 candles, but after years of fighting depression, Anna committed suicide in September 2012.
I had known Anna for over twenty years. The day she died, she should visit me to help me with her skin. At the time, I was not aware that her rashes were a side effect of the medicines she was administering.
I suggested that she change her pillow case more regularly and consume more omegas. In retrospect, everything feels naive, but I think she couldn't find any words to tell me that there were much bigger problems at stake.
One in four of us have a mental health problem in a given year, but many have no or no access to the right support. Stunning 75% of adult mental health problems start at age 18.
For the second time, today as a tribute to Anna and to raise awareness of the challenges that people with mental health problems face, today is Pai Mind Day. A day to draw attention to mental health problems that are so often misunderstood and that face so many young women like Anna.
If you have concerns about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, visit Mind for more advice and support.