Another edition from Vicky who often shares her very personal journal and thoughts around well being and the challenge of living with that.
For this edition Vicky shares her thoughts on attitudes to mental health and, how Natural Flair are involved in a very special challenge for mental health awareness.
Vicky is now our social media and digital marketing lead as well as being my personal admin assistant and parenting programme co-ordinator.
Mental health issues will effect 1 in 4 of us in our lifetime. More and more I am finding it easier to access honest, open dialogue from people who write for a living (professional bloggers, authors, public speakers) and those that don't (me, coming at you live from the dining table in the living room) about Mental Health and how it has affected them or someone they know and love.
Mental health has been a bit of a taboo subject in days gone by. One of those 'labels' that people have wanted to avoid because they don't want anyone thinking that 'they are crazy' or to be told that they 'need to pull themselves together'.
It used to be that if you saw your local GP and wanted to talk about these sorts of issues, then the default would be to offer you some kind of medication. Don't get me wrong, I think those kinds of methods have their place and are sometimes very necessary. But now, at last, we are getting to a point where there is less shame about needing to ask for help. More and more people are telling their story, sharing their experiences, using their voice to shed light on some of the difficulties that people living with Mental Ill Health have to face and deal with day to day. It certainly appears that options are opening up in terms of treatment and self empowerment too.
When I was diagnosed with Chronic Pain Syndrome last year, I was offered Counselling, Physiotherapy, Coaching and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I took my GP up on them all! It was wonderful to feel validated and heard and I felt at last that I could do something about it - me, for myself. It was empowering.
Last night I watched a YouTube video about anxiety and how to self-manage it. Something that was also discussed was the differences between anxiety and depression. Depression is often defined as 'long term anxiety'. As a society, as a race, I think we have evolved to such an extent that generally we do everything at a super fast pace - life is full and very busy and depression sufferers are stuck. They cannot move quickly, they cannot see ahead and they often feel empty and isolated. They are on the outside. Despite the great strides that have been made in our attitude and approach to treating Mental Health issues, depression is often seen as apathy on the part of the sufferer. There is a level of intolerance and a lack of understanding that exists alongside depression, and sufferers often feel left behind. The signs are there for us to see but they are often misunderstood.
If you have been following Natural Flair online, you will have seen many posts about The MHD Challenge. MHD stands for Mental Health Dance challenge and it is an initiative that is very close to the heart of our Managing Director, Sharon Lawton.
Sharon is the resident Family and Parent Coach on the Chrissy B Show which airs on Sky Channel 203 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The programme is the UK’s only TV show dedicated to Wellbeing and Mental Health topics. On 25th September, the show’s host Chrissy B, launched the MHD Challenge, to help raise awareness and banish the stigma attached to depression and associated mental health issues. The concept is great and is lots of fun.
“What is the aim of the #MHDchallenge?”
The main aim is to encourage people not to let depression (and other mental health issues) take over their lives and encourage people to fight back. It aims to encourage people to open up and seek help without the fear of being stigmatised, because having a mental health issue isn’t anything to be ashamed of – you just need to get help and not let it ruin your life. It also aims to bring a wider understanding of mental health issues to the general public by getting more people talking about it.
YOU CAN GET INVOLVED TOO:
This is how it works: There is an online tutorial video and a track to accompany it that you can download for free click here to see the official dance video
Once you've got the moves, then you video it and post it up on your social media profiles everywhere with the all important hashtag #MHDChallenge! Then you challenge someone else to do the same!
We also need you to dance holding something red (a hankie or a napkin would be great, but anything will do) to show everyone that you are making a stand against DEPRESSION!
Learn the whole routine or just part of it - get friends, family members, colleagues, classmates together! click here to see the dance tutorial...
Do you want to be part of a very special movement that encourages young people everywhere to take care of their well being and raises awareness about depression and other mental health issues? Then take part TODAY! We can't wait to hear all about it.
You can throw an office dance party or hold a special school assembly, you can involve your local youth club, Brownie or Scout pack or you can do it from the comfort of your own living room – tag us in too via our twitter/instagram and facebook accounts and we will re-post it.
Sharon and the team from The ChrissyB Show will be working with The Brookmans Park School in Hertfordshire who are the first school to sign up for the challenge - watch out for their appearance on a show in the near future
Some of the videos posted on social media will be selected to be shown on the Chrissyb Show too, or if you have a school or youth group, then contact us and we can arrange for the film crew to come along and film your event!
So, what are you waiting for? Get involved and lets unite against depression!
In the words of John F. Kennedy
'One person can make a difference, and everyone should try'.
I’d love to hear how you felt about this and our other blogs – comment at the bottom and contact me via;
tweet me: @sharonnatflair
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