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Mental health for all – what does that mean?

We all have mental health, the same as we all have physical health – there is no health without mental health.

I don’t know about you, but these last few months have played havoc with both my mental and physical health and it’s taken me some time to get to grips with it all. I’ve had days when I have been focused with lots of energy and days when I could quite frankly stay in bed.

I guess I’m lucky that I have remained quite busy throughout, as an HR consultant my time has been in demand. I have been working with a range of different companies some of which have been busier than ever and others that have been forced to reduce their headcount considerably. The impact that the last few months has had in the workplace and especially on employee well-being is beyond anything that I have ever seen and hope to see ever again.

We’ve seen the stats – a tsunami of issues heading our way, suicide on the increase, and investment in mental health support desperately needed.

I am a Registered Adult Mental Health First Aid instructor and have been delivering the MHFA England 2-day First Aid course to companies across the UK , all on-line these days, this is what I’ve learnt:

Our individual experiences of the last few months are very different

Our ability to maintain good physical and mental health is different

Our personal circumstances are different

But when you get a group of people together to talk about mental health we begin to understand, to open up and talk about our own experiences and we begin to understand that there is hope. So, what’s the point of this article?

Well, it’s this. Talking and sharing makes the single biggest difference in how we view and think about mental health. I have seen light bulb moments, people relaxing, supporting each other, realising that how they are feeling isn’t failure or odd – it’s all perfectly normal and common as hell. I have seen empathy and support at its best.

So tomorrow, grab a coffee, a phone, whatever you have and have a conversation with somebody about mental health – you never know, you could be the one person that makes all the difference in someone’s life.

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