(A little detour away from nature based writing!)
I’ve been working in mental health recovery services for over 20 years.
I’ve spent the last 3 years researching mental health impacts in relation to the stories that we tell about ourselves and how we are perceived in Western culture once we have a diagnosis.
Here is something important that I have learnt:
It doesn’t matter what symptoms, diagnosis or treatment are delivered, the key to recovery is being treated with kindness, compassion, empathy and allowances being made for human fragility.
If people are treated as ‘otherly’ because of a mental health diagnosis they will continue to experience a crushing of spirit that is detrimental and permanently damaging to mental health.
We have few words in our culture for spirit. We often spend time focusing on our physical well-being, but barely any time is spent on our inner wellbeing as part of a normal routine and life style.
Imagine instead of paying a membership for a gym to workout your body, you paid a membership to take care of your soul. My mind gym would have relaxation suites, wifi free areas, spa rooms, confidence building classes, nap cafes, pet therapy, free talking services for validation of difficult times and counselling….all under one roof as part of a normal life style! It would be open to everyone, as after all – we all have physical health / we all have mental health and we all have the potential to experience ill health in either of these areas.
What would your soul gym include ? What words do you use to describe your inner self and spirit? Would you ever take a mental health day off sick as readily as a day off for physical health?
I’m genuinely interested to know!