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When you go through a load of bad stuff that seems to stretch on indefinitely, it’s hard to see the sunshine. Dark grey clouds linger on through the day and night as the heavy mood refuses to lift. Even the Umbrella of Happiness does little good against the bullets of rain.

If you’ve got somebody to listen to you, it does help.

Times will change, the sun will shine again.

Depression and mental illness are different, but talking and listening can help keep the storms at bay too.

It’s a well documented fact that mental health conditions are a taboo, off-limits subject to a lot of people. Yet, it is something that needs to be addressed and it is something that the public do need to be made continuously aware of. If sufferers of Depression and other mental health conditions feel that they can talk more openly about their issues, maybe it can help lift the burden that they carry – even just a little.

Talking and listening go hand in hand.

The spectrum of mental illness is so broad – like that of Learning Disabilities – but getting to know somebody on their level can help overcome so many barriers. Thankfully, we are part of a generation that is more accepting and, I think, more willing to take the time to understand. However, there are still those who don’t respect others who fit into the “norm”; or maybe people are scared by what they don’t understand.

I’m not trying to gloss over mental illness by saying talking and listening is the ultimate cure. It just helps, especially when people are valued as individuals. There will be days when a person with a mental illness is not able to respond – that’s a sad part of certain conditions – but we can’t give up: just a five minute chat can lift the clouds even for a brief time; it could even be the start of the sun shining more.