Mental health affects 1-4 people in the UK. We happen to think that mental health is everyone's concern. It's an individual's concern, a family concern, community concern and society's concern. Mental health affects all of us and we feel strongly about making mental health a priority to talk about. Which is why we had a good old chat about mental health with Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, Mr Pengelly, to explain to him that community organisations such as ourselves are making an impact on mental health and we need resourced to continue to provide our service, in partnership with the Trust. We believe we the community need to speak up about the issues that concern them most and lobby for adequate provision within the community. My thoughts are ticking over on this one and I'd love to hear form you about what you need, so get in touch!
We need to think of how to prevent long term mental health issues. We need to think about how communities function to protect and care for people, reducing stress and anxiety. We need to all play a part, to look after our own health and understand the needs of others.
What if we didn't by into the pressures of society? What if we could figure out how to live in a system that treats people fairly and equitably? What would be the impact?
Its fair to say we have a huge task ahead and to highlight Mental Health Awareness Day we released our new videos, highlighting the stories that we hear on a daily basis in our counselling rooms. What an honour is it to see a life set free from the constraints of negative thinking patterns and see people decide to swim against the current of what they have been conditioned to think and believe about themselves.
My friend Alain showed this video in a sermon that he preached a couple of weeks ago. The video depicts fleas that are put into a jar and the lid is put on for 3 days. When the lid is taken off the jar, the fleas will only jump as high as the height of the jar, they have been conditioned to never jump beyond the level that they have known, furthermore their offspring will only ever jump as high as the jar, they've also been conditioned by what they've learned and witnessed from their predecessors.
We can all behave like fleas, we can become conditioned by our thoughts and how our parents viewed the world or what society thinks is important or what other people think or say. We learn this stuff and we form our beliefs around it. The truth is, our thoughts are not facts and we can change them, we can dare to think differently and change the mould.
If we want to make systemic change, then we all need to play our part in this. We need to decide what our truth is and choose to live in a way that respects and enhances ourselves and others.
Heres a thought, what if we could exercise gentleness? Being gentle is quite a revolutionary act these days. Imagine if we were gentle people, the product of our gentleness would be a system of gentleness, a next generation of gentleness. So on World Mental Health Day, I implore you to give gentleness a chance, be kind to yourself and see how that feels.