Break The Stigma UK: A Platform To Relate And Share Stories With Others
Thankfully we are living in a time where people are willing to share their struggles openly. People do not have to worry about being judged because they are not okay and it is thanks to wonderful people such as the brilliant lads from Break The Stigma UK.
Ryan Scott founded Break The Stigma UK and runs it alongside long-time friend Del. However, within a short time, they have garnered a bit of a following and have seen a lot of success.
The name Break The Stigma stood out for Scott and was an easy choice, his reasoning behind the naming was simple. "Break The Stigma just came to me because there is a stigma around mental health in general, more in men's mental health and you can abbreviate it to BTSUK and people will remember it," said Scott.
The inspiration for starting BTSUK was owed to Scott's own experiences with mental health battles. Scott's journey was a long one he admits, which stemmed from his teenage years right into his adult life. "I had gone from being an overweight kid to being a kid who got into the gym and became very fit. And it went from when I was a kid I was always in last place, the person that was the slowest and my confidence was knocked,"
However, through his determination to be the best at everything he did, it was from there Scott felt a decline. "I was putting on muscle, then seeing myself as fat and it went downhill from there really," during this period of struggle, it caused Scott to make decisions which only affected him worse. "I started cutting foods out and getting suicidal thoughts, it was a real crazy time."
The kick to change things came for Scott when he spent three weeks in hospital. During that time he was told that if he didn't make a change, the consequences would be tragic. "I was told if you've either got to change this or you're going to die."
Scott was able to overcome his struggles and credits the help of his friends and family around him. "The thing that got me through my journey was love and support from everyone, I had an army behind me," thus stemmed another thought of inspiration to start Break The Stigma.
"The idea of BTS was to make that army, make that love, make that support for people that are on their own," Said Scott.
Scott also touched on the impact of social media and how that has played a part in the mental health of many, particularly young people. While we can gloat about how it enables us to stay in touch with friends and family, there is no denying that it does possess a dark side. "The pressures now from social media and other things as well, I had pressure when I was going through it, but now social media is so advanced. You read about lads being bullied at school then going home and being bullied on social media and their Xbox, there is so much awareness out there but there needs to be more."
Mental health is a community as much as anything else. Togetherness is so important in the battle against pushing through, it is a community that evokes nothing but love. Scott has felt that love and made connections far and wide.
"As far as America, had people reaching out, other mental health pages. Everyone is on board with what they want to do, you are a community, you are there for the same reason."
BTS's success has come thick and fast in such a short amount of time. The current circumstances in the world have meant that they are to continue working virtually. Their goal right now is to make sure they continue to push awareness for mental health, but they also have a dream to turn BTS into a charity.
"The goal is to make it into a charity; have phone lines, dedicated support lines, a bit like Mind, a fantastic charity. You start small and then all of sudden the sky is the limit. If you do things on good value, good things will return to you. If this can help just one person or saves one life then I've achieved what I wanted, if this can go on to save more lives and more people then that's even better."