Mental health in the spotlight
Mental health was a focus at Incite long before Covid-19 but the crisis has made clear just how important it is to continue to raise awareness – and reduce stigma.
In an effort to do that, I and the other mental health first-aiders at Incite recently ran a series of online sessions that sought to explore what ‘good’ mental health looks like and featured some tips and tricks that have proven beneficial for others.
Here are three key takeaways:
1 / We are being more open but there’s further to go
The pandemic has thrust mental health into the spotlight. Perhaps because it happens so often, ‘Fine, thank you’ is no longer our default response when someone asks how we are. We are realising it is ok to not be ok. That is progress but it’s not quite ‘job done’.
2 / Coping mechanisms differ from one person to the next: find one that works for you
During the session we introduced a stress container tool. But we discovered that many people already had their own ways of coping: one colleague thinks of themselves as a car, with stress equivalent to an engine running– you wouldn’t always leave your engine running, depleting fuel levels. Whether you see it as a stress container with a tap or a car that needs maintenance, being aware of your stress levels, and what contributes to/releases stress is hugely beneficial.
3 / It seems obvious, but create space for people to talk
One of the most important learnings from the session was the positive impact of being able to talk about how you are (or are not) coping. The final 15 minutes was left open for discussion; these were the moments that people felt able to speak up, to say how they felt, and often to get reassurance that they were not alone.