Mental Health – Well you didn’t think I would stay quiet about the subject for long did you?

Every training workshop and conference I run starts with the audience jotting down all they can think about physical health, and you’ve guessed it the page is filled with words such as exercise, fitness , free from illness, etc but flipping the page over to mental health is a different story. Nine times out of ten the flip chart sheet will contain the words depression, low mood, anxiety, stress., dementia, psychosis and all number of descriptions of mental Illness.
So for a start lets start talking properly about the true meaning of health of the mind.
The World Health Organisation describes mental health as; ”A state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
Some tall order.
So mental health problems can range from a low mood to a depressive illness in the same way as
Long and Winding Road1 copyphysical health problems can range from a common cold to double pneumonia.  Nobody is mentally well all of their lives. There are things that happen on a day to day basis that will effect our mental health in some way or another so I use this simple road when talking to patients, families or professionals about mental well being and illness.
We explore where we may be on the road and the sort of things that may take us down one way and back up again towards good mental health. For those of us who will and do experience mental illness, at the very furthest end of the road, it is good to know we talk and know much more about recovery nowadays.
As you may imagine since hearing my diagnosis I have been wandering a little further down the road than usual.  But I truly believe I am one of the lucky ones because I have a number of internal resilience factors and resources to pull on.  There are also a number of external support systems in play that are guiding me back towards good mental health, This in turn will effect my physiology and therefore, I believe my physical health.
When we look for these innate resources within our clients, we can help to empower them to use theses internal and external systems to influence their own recovery which can be amazingly successful and empowering in the long term.
This is big, passionate subject, very close to my heart so I will use future posts to talk about this in depth at another time.
A 2004 cross-Europe study found that approximately one in four people reported meeting criteria at some point in their life for at least one of the DSM-IV disorders assessed, which included mood disorders (13.9%), anxiety disorders (13.6%) or alcohol disorder (5.2%). Approximately one in ten met criteria within a 12-month period. Women and younger people of either gender showed more cases of disorder.- Alonso J, Angermeyer MC, Bernert S, et al. (2004).  
850,000 children and young people in the UK (10%) have a mental health problem – and that’s just the ones who have been diagnosed.
So you can see why it’s such an important subject that needs to be addressed.
Stigma causes problems and the fact that it’s difficult to talk about mental health problems can be one of the hardest parts of having a mental illness. It can lead to the loss of friendships, feeling isolated, not seeking help and slower recovery.
So get talking about it now this is the time to change
Besides my training as a registered mental health nurse I have added to my list of qualifications over the years and want to mention two here that we’re most significant and life changing for both me and and I believe my patients. The first being my ” Human Givens” diploma
and the second Neuro- linguistic programming (N.L.P).
The methods here alongside cognitive behaviour techniques, video interactive guidance and  solution focused brief therapies play a large part of our children’s mental health service . Find out more about Step2 in our first newsletter
There will be lots more on the subject folks but in the interest of keeping your full attention I shall be resorting back to my rather more light hearted reporting from the parallel universe shortly.
Do not fear normal service will resume, cloud costume intact!