World Mental Health Day
10th October is World Mental Health Day.
Perhaps the key point about mental health – is that we all have it! It’s just like physical health really – our mental health can be in good shape or not so good. However, unlike physical health, mental health is not really talked about so much.
Physical health crops up in conversation all the time, from: “I’m exhausted - just did a fast and furious work-out and I’m ready to collapse”, to “how’s your back?” or “how's the marathon training going?”.
And yet, you'll rarely hear boasts of: “I’m exhausted, I just saw my therapist and we worked on some really tough issues” And very few people (far too few people) casually ask “how’s your stress today?” or: “how are you doing with the depression medications”?
And yet, really – there is no difference. Just because we can’t see mental health, doesn’t mean it isn’t impacting on us.
Often we don't talk about it because we just don’t want to go there. Maybe we’re not sure what to say next, or because we think we might end up making it worse. But, just like a physical condition - for example, a bad back, our mental health won’t get worse by talking about it!
So this World Mental Health day, perhaps use the day to open up a conversation. “Hey did you know it’s world mental health day? How’s your mental health?”
And just listen to what happens next. Listening can be everything. Don’t feel that you need to fix someone.
Sometimes a cup of tea and an open ear can be all someone needs*.
And if you think you can't manage the conversation, here are some signposts you can use or send to someone: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/getting-help
*obviously if someone is deeply or seriously distressed, then make sure you signpost them or get them medical/professional help. If they are having suicidal thoughts, or thoughts about harming themselves or others, make sure that you stay with them until professional help arrives.
7th of October, 2020More blog posts