Do you remember a time when you didn't really hear the words 'mental health'? A time when you really only heard the words 'mental illness' and associated it with people who 'suffered' from severe mental disorders?
In recent years, we've heard the words 'mental health' being used a lot; it's a phrase we're all familiar with. And rightly so, because we all have mental health. The same way we all have physical health. A truth that many of us are even more aware of in the last six months after experiencing difficult feelings of loss, isolation and uncertainty.
We openly discuss physical ailments - such as an infection or a broken bone. It's widely accepted that time will need to be requested off work to go to medical appointments and recover. Yet, talking openly about a period of anxiety or depression - for which time off may be vital for recovery - remains uncommon and cloaked in a sense of shame.
Why? For a number of reasons; but it's mainly down to the deep-rooted societal sentiment that there's weakness in vulnerability. That, somehow, unlike physical ailments, we should be able to control our own minds. It can be a vicious cycle; but one we can collectively break.
So, to mark this year's World Mental Health Day, we're hoping to do just that by showing that there's strength in vulnerability. In alignment with Mind charity, everyone in the team was given an hour in our working week and actively encouraged to #DoOneThing that was kind to our minds. Importantly, we each then shared these things with the whole team.
Here are a few of the messages posted:
Kirsty: "#DoOneThing: It may be wet & windy but I was determined to be out there proudly sporting my t-shirt to raise awareness for mental health.
Audre Lorde’s powerful quote on self-care: "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare"
Fiona: "My #DoOneThing today was simply getting out in the fresh air for a walk in not-so-sunny Cumbernauld.
And we'll end in the wise words of our very own Craig Paterson in response to the stories shared amongst the team:
- World Health Organisation: Mental well-being resources
- Wellbeing tips from Mind charity
- Samaritans (7 days a week, 24 hours a day)