It’s World Mental Health Day and I’m spending it in community. It’s the biggest stigma busting thing you can do for mental health, is talk about it. Talk about it seems to be everywhere right now, and this is only a good thing. As I’m writing this right now, I’m on a bus to Peckham, to a co working space that is holding an open event for freelancers to come and share a desk and a cuppa and a chat about mental health if they are feeling it. This is crucial stuff, and makes all the difference if you are working in isolation. Likewise, on the bus I was half earwigging a conversation from the seat behind me. They’ve left the bus now. Two twenty somethings talking openly about complex mental health conditions and how they affect their ability to function day to day. Community. After my freelance desk sharing experience, I’m off to Goldsmiths University to listen into a group of students sharing their experience in the Student Union. There it is. Community.
We can’t solve this stuff on our own people. We’re not made to. The self determination theory of mental health talks about the three essential components of mental health being competence – or skills – autonomy, which translates as empowerment, and the third critical part – relatedness. You see? There it is again. Community.
I’ve been running Mental Snapp as a journalling app to help people to tell their stories for a couple of years now, and we’ve noticed that people learn the most when they’re sharing with each other. We’re making some radical changes to the app, which isn’t in the App Store right now, due to a big old shakeup. So you can’t download it there.
But you can join us in community. Good mental health is an art and our network of #mentalhealthartists share tips and tricks, learning and experience, to practice it together. We catch and appreciate ordinary moments. We build good habits. We support each other. Every Saturday I post a special article of thoughts, and I know from the comments I get each week it gives the community a little lift. Just what you need to start the weekend, right?
Come join us in community. And whatever you’re doing this #worldmentalhealthday, take a moment to share your mental health, be open, and listen to what comes back. It will undoubtedly surprise you. That’s the power of community.
Find out more about #mentalhealthartists. http://bit.ly/mentalhealthartists