Let’s talk about mental health in a healthy way

Let’s talk about mental health in a healthy way

Did you know that 7thFebruary is Time to Talk Day 2019?

It is a day when we can get together and be more open about our mental health. It is a day to talk, to share stories, to listen, to support each other and to change lives.

It is so important to talk about our mentalhealth in a healthy way. Too often our conversations about mental health focus on the signs of poor mental health. That’s important – but what about the health part? Unfortunately, it is often lost and forgotten – and that’s a real missed opportunity.

So, if you are planning to start a conversation about mental health at your workplace, make sure it answers the following three questions:

  • IS IT HEALTH-AFFIRMING?

As mentioned above, understanding the symptoms of mental health problems is vital but it needs to be placed in a context that is health-affirming. The aim of a conversation about mental health is to help people reconnect with and access their innate health.

In the midst of my own personal experience of burnout, I realised one very important thing: at our core we are all innately healthy, resilient and whole. I realised that we are never broken, even though we may feel broken and low at times. And yes, it is ok to feel like that from time to time. In fact, it is completely natural to feel like that – it happens to everyone. But this fact does not diminish in any way the healthy, unbreakable whole part of us all.

Helping people, to connect with and access this inner part that is alive in each and every one of us is key when supporting people to live healthier and happier lives.

  • IS IT GROWTH-ENHANCING?

Going through depression, anxiety or burnout is certainly not easy but many people who have suffered from one of these conditions often say that it was one of the most growth-enhancing experiences of their lives. I completely agree with that. Why? Because going through difficult times in my life taught me a lot about myself. It actually helped me to understand who I really am. Difficulty propelled me to start living from a fresh perspective in a completely new way – with less stress and more ease, and with clarity, wellbeing and fulfilment.

And that’s exactly what I see when I work with clients who experience stress and burnout. Going through a difficult time is like going through a growth spurt. Growing pains are part of it!

I want people to know that struggles are part of life and they don’t mean we are weak. They only point to places in our lives where we need to grow and learn to become wiser, stronger and more resilient.

  • IS IT ABOUT DEVELOPING REAL CONNECTIONS?

Too many presentations on mental health are a bit dry. There – I’ve said it! I’ve seen people walk out of training rooms feeling a bit deflated, repeating ‘1 in 4’ statistics and trying to memorise conditions with intricate signs and symptoms. But for me, talking about mental health is about more than that. It is about coming together, sitting side by side and sharing our lives. It is about seeing each other, listening to one another and learning from each other.

The real purpose of talking about mental health is coming together and feeling connected. That’s what most of us want and, funnily enough, that is what is helpful and healing in itself. We are all part of one family – the human family. Feeling connected is our birthright.

Wishing you many great conversations!

Dorothy x

3 Comments
  • Anya Smirnova
    Posted at 09:50h, 28 January Reply

    Dear Dorothy, thank you for sharing your wisdom. you gave me the words to articulate what I felt but could not pin down. Immediately it gave me the feeling of a relaxed focus, perfect timing on a Monday morning :

    ‘struggles … don’t mean we are weak. They only point to places in our lives where we need to grow and learn to become wiser, stronger and more resilient.’

    Best wishes

  • Cathy Aicardi
    Posted at 09:41h, 16 February Reply

    Dorothy, I find all of your points above excellent. They really change the conversation (or even start it!) to one that is more likely to serve the needs of the individual and society as a whole in the way that we approach mental health and well-being. I give a resounding yes! to our being at our core, ‘complete’ and ‘whole’; to the huge value of changing our perspective on difficult times and phases of our lives; and last but not least, forging connections through the telling of our stories.
    I’ve just read Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and it is a gem of a story that connects and inspires in the better understanding of ourselves, the culture we live in (and can create around us) and that being a work in progress is a wonderful thing.

    Thank you, Dorothy, for all the great work you are doing!
    Cathy

  • nkotbWaisp
    Posted at 11:38h, 16 February Reply

    New Kids on the Block is my favourite pop-band of 90s. They had so many hit songs! The ones I remember are ‘Tonight’, ‘Baby, I Believe In You’ and, of course their hit ‘Step By Step’. These are real songs, not fake like today! And it is sooo good they have a tour in 2019! So I’m going to attend their concert in 2019. The concert setlist is here: New Kids on the Block concerts 2019. Check it out and maybe we can even visit one of the performances together!

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