“Men must never show emotion” and “failure is a sign of weakness”. These types of unhelpful beliefs can get in the way of our relationships and taking action when it comes to our health. It can cause us to take a few more risks with our health that in hindsight may seem unwise!
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In today’s ever-changing world where we are expected to do more with less and be everything to everyone, we need to put proactive measures in place to prevent poor mental health and promote wellbeing by giving people the skills and resources to better manage their own mental health and thrive.
Too many of us coast through life either ignoring our worries or waiting until the pressure gets too much and only to find ourselves breaking down and not functioning at all. Learning the skills behind being resilient gave me the gift of making the short time I had left with my mum count. It allowed me to step up to the plate and do what was needed without totally burning myself out. In so many ways it acted as a protective buffer against the extreme situation I found myself in.
Wellbeing is an output of culture. I’m also left thinking that any organisation, leader or manager that thinks it’s possible to separate the mental health from the financial health of an organisation is sadly misguided.
Mental illness is common and can affect anyone, including serving and ex-members of our Armed Forces. Read a veteran’s view of Jersey’s Mental Health Strategy Engagement Day. 10 personal insights.
It’s great to see prominent members of our society coming forward and talking about their own experiences of mental illness and highlighting ways to access help. However, the inevitability around lack of NHS funding means the reality is that we need to do whatever we can to ensure there is less need for these services in the first place and that means investing time, effort and support into the area of prevention that receives far too little focus and emphasis.
Sometimes we become so focused on the next big project, the next promotion or the latest “must have” item that we forget how important it is to tune into recognising these potential burnout behaviours before it gets too late.
We need to take a step back and move beyond the mindset of “early intervention” and invest some thought and action into more proactive approaches. Prevention is better than cure. Rather than waiting for the symptoms of mental illness to present themselves, we need to invest in our children from a very early age to develop fundamental life skills that will enable them to adapt through pressure and uncertainty. Arm adults, parents, professionals, everybody with the mindset and resources to navigate intense levels of change to prevent poor mental health in the first place.