Josh Wright: Mental challenge to cope with lockdown

The whole country is on lockdown, businesses are closed and people are losing their jobs across every part of the economy including, I suspect, the agri-food sector.

The lockdown is tough enough for everyone and, no matter how much you get on with your family, these are testing times.

Whether you have struggled with your mental health in the past or not, this situation is going to take its toll on even the strongest of relationships.

See also: Read more from Josh Wright

Now, imagine living in a household where its members don’t agree with your LGBTQ+ self-identification.

I read an article on the BBC that highlighted this as a reality for some.

No escape

Lockdown means that there is no escape from the situation, it really did make me think.

Luckily for me, my family and friends have always been accepting of who I am and who I love.

I am grateful for that fact, and I am also lucky because my partner came to live with us as the lockdown began so we have each other for moral support.

I know, however, that there are many people who aren’t quite as lucky as Luke and me.

There are many young farmers, and other young people, living with parents who don’t support them, and who vehemently disagree with how they identify.

The BBC article focused on a gay lad who had been working away from home but, having seen his career disappear overnight, had no choice but to return home to live with his “strict Christian” parents, who disagreed wholeheartedly with his sexuality.

There were a few other stories with similar themes.

Mental challenge

I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this must be for those people. It must be a huge mental challenge to live in an environment like that day after day.

As someone who has struggled with their mental health in the not-so-distant past, I know how dangerous not speaking out and asking for help can be.

My advice to anyone reading this and struggling with their identity, sexuality, mental health or living in a situation similar to those in the BBC article is this: speak out and ask for help.

There are always people out there to support and help you.

Be the person you were meant to be. Don’t suffer in silence. You only get one life.