Putting mental health on the agenda

I was very happy to hear that a guest speaker was going to be discussing mental health and well-being at our next department meeting. It was here, in the meeting, that I was able to appreciate how powerful it is to have someone stand in front of you and openly share their experiences.

‘Chwalfa feddyliol’… Powerful words. Silence fell on the crowded room as the guest speaker said those exact words. The conversation was full of impactful moments like the above, making one think about their own mental health and well-being. This talk will undoubtedly stay with me for a very long time.

What struck me most from the guest speaker’s talk is how mental health can affect any one of us at any time. The guest speaker themselves would admit that they have had a successful career, which has enabled them to travel to different parts of the world. But mental health problems don’t discriminate – boy or girl, right handed or left handed, blonde hair or brown hair … it doesn’t matter.

Inspirational. That’s how I would describe the guest speaker.

The effect of the guest speaker’s talk can truly be heard in the office conversations… for days afterwards we discussed mental health and well-being. A conversation that might not have happened otherwise.

We all look after our physical health … Cold? Off to the pharmacy… Flu jab? A trip to the doctor’s surgery … Broken arm? Hospital, without a doubt. Isn’t it high time we took similar steps to look after our mental health and well-being? This was the main message of the talk.

Taking a break from the computer and moving from the desk … Drinking more water and drinking less coffee… Trying (but not always succeeding) getting about 7-8 hours of sleep … These are not revolutionary changes are they? But these are the steps I am trying to take to try and look after my mental health and well-being. No … not every day is as successful, but I’m trying and that’s what’s important right?

So yes, we do need to think about our mental health, but the Council is also encouraging us to go a step further by encouraging us to talk and share experiences. The guest speaker can probably be an inspiration to us all… sharing experiences openly without feeling ashamed.

Mental health and well-being has a strong place on the council agenda and should have an equally strong place on all of our personal agendas.

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