This is my 2nd rant since Covid (this one has a lot less swearing).
After being on a couple of work groups about mental health recently, I’ve realised as a society we are a long way off the mindset and system we need as a community to actually make a difference to mental wellbeing. For those who don’t know, Alicia, my wife, has lived with Anxiety for a long time, and for the last 4 years I have worked with people who have anxiety, depression, lost their way in life, anger, alcoholics and drug addicts, as well as high performers, executive managers, team development, business owners and athletes on their mindset & performance.
Alicia is outgoing, fun, loud and always happy, so I never saw the panic attacks coming. Once I did notice something was wrong, it was normally as the panic attack kicked in. The good news for our family is that I now know how to recognise the signs early and what to do.
Around 2 weeks ago she lost her job. Thankfully she started a new job on Monday and she has just completed 30 hours of on the job training.
Along with all of the new training and new role, there has been a level of uncertainty at home…
The current economic climate, our business having to restructure, the Covid situation, me being home a lot, home schooling the kids and all the other life challenges going on, it all came to a head on Sunday evening. She was unhealthily stressed.
So, I grabbed Alicia’s shoulders, did a 3 minute relaxation technique, and I literally had to carry her to the couch as she was so relaxed she couldn’t move. Within 3 minutes she had gone from being stressed to peacefully relaxing and winding down from the week, without drugs, medication or alcohol.
The reality is, the system is not keeping up with the mental health issues created by our current economic climate and society’s issues! Technology and change in the world is moving faster than universities can research, publish, decide on outcomes and implement new tools and techniques that work. What’s more people are so bloody scared of talking about mental health in fear of offending someone or saying the wrong things and even more scared of actually helping someone… Why?
It’s improving but it’s slow and mostly driven by individuals in small yoga, hypnosis, meditation and wellness centres rather than a collective (and funded) approach. There is hardly any funded research because who stands to benefit form a healthy population? It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just the way it is.
Research is funded mostly by people who have a vested financial interest in the outcome…and the reality is you can’t bottle the relaxation technique I used with Alicia and sell it.
We have a system that thinks the solution to mental health is just one good prescription away. As a society we are terrified of helping a person with their mental health in the workplace, yet are happy to pick fault, abuse, cause and treat others like crap which causes poor mental health in the first place!! So, it’s basically like hitting someone on the legs with a bat until they can’t walk anymore, then saying… “Ohhh, I can’t help you sorry you need a professional”
Until that happens, and until people want to learn the tools and techniques that can drastically improve the head space a person is in from moment to moment, we’ll be stuck with a bunch of people who let their mental health turn to a mental illness and end up over medicated, over diagnosed worriers who can’t get the very best out of their life and struggle just to get through the day…let alone enjoy one.