It’s not the fault of the people trying to change things that people don’t listen. There is no fault to be laid at the door of ANY organisation who spends its time trying to break down stigma and challenge the status quo. There’s also a really good reason that, if you train to be a Time to Talk Champion, you are asked to have lived experience of mental health issues in order to contribute meaningfully to the debate.
From bitter, personal experience, I know just how hard it is to try and make someone who does not understand a problem do just that when you yourself are incapable of adequately explaining the issues. It has been a long journey to arrive here, possessing skills that simply did not exist a decade ago. It’s taken a phenomenal amount of work and stress to arrive, only to realise that my journey has only just begun.
Serious Mental health issues never end.
This week’s been full of stuff that has boggled my brain: people pushing their own agendas on every possible subject under the sun. There’s a lot of irony when someone claims you’re being unfair to them, but when you pick them up for the language they use, it’s not their problem. No, really, it is. These issues begin with those people who see no problem in what they say or do, because they’re always right.
These are the people a lot of us out here beating the drum for Mental health reform really hope will one day stop assuming this isn’t their problem. However, for many, it is never really a realistic possibility. At the revelation this week that our Prime Minister ‘doesn’t really understand’ the concepts around Climate Change, I bet there’s also a lot of people of a similar mindset who don’t get mental health as a concept either.
How do we teach these people that it is an issue?
Like it or not, repetition is a key. Kindness, persistence, all of these approaches have positive consequences. I’m determined to keep writing about the process of recovery and adjustment: this entire blog has become testament to what counselling can do to help isolate and identify exactly what it is that’s at fault with your life. I can’t change my past either… but really, why would I want to?
This is not about closure, or somehow returning to people and places that others say should matter. Positive mental health is knowing what works best for you, and making those changes at a pace that suits your life. That’s where I am now, slowly making those changes, and learning how to become more resilient as a human being. When the past emerges to try and flummox me, I am increasingly better prepared.
Not everybody experiences mental health in the same way.
Saying the words and then not doing the thing is a childhood trauma that I remember only too well. The disappointment of being promised stuff and that never happening is a groove in my heart that, let’s be fair, never heals over. It’s why today’s Time to Talk task is not to go stand in a shopping centre and solicit random interactions, but will happen in a different way.
Knowing which battles to pick is often a tough ask, but in this case I know what matters most right now. That means today, I’ll do what needs to be done and then find some time for myself, because when all is said and done that is what both body and mind are currently crying out for. Healing doesn’t happen overnight: it takes time and effort to address the issues. However, if I’m needed, there’s ALWAYS Time to Talk.
If nobody is listening, no-one benefits.