Mental health matters

Every couple of months my husband meets up with his friends, they catch up and have some drinks. They have been friends for decades and there is always some mockery involved. Last time they met, my husband introduced a ‘mental health review’. He asked everyone about their mental health, a simple but direct question. The result was a fairly frank and honest conversation about anxieties, bereavements and having reached out to counsellors for help.

What intrigues me about this anecdote is how speaking honestly and labelling mental health allows us to acknowledge that everyone will at some point in their lives, experience mental health issues. This is why I am proud to be part of the Mental Health First Aid group at Team. We have a group of people trained, capable and willing to support colleagues experiencing mental health challenges.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and we hosted a ‘tea and talk’ event to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation. Team folks don’t need much encouragement to gather for cakes and treats, but today wasn’t just about good quality snacking. Today was about being clear that mental health matters, to begin the conversations around it, to be more direct in acknowledging it, talking about it and normalising it. My belief is that if we are able to talk about our own mental health, we are more likely to access the help we might one day need, and in turn, get to good mental health.

I’m not advocating my husband’s approach of the ‘mental health review’, perhaps best suited 3 pints in and with nearly 30 years of friendship, but let’s get better at acknowledging, labelling and talking about it.

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