So, why a blog? Why me? Why mental health?
In particular, why me writing a blog about mental health?
You could say I am passionate about mental health, run a business to help improve mental health and quite like to write, so a blog about mental health seems logical.
We all live with mental health, at times good and at times not so good. It’s pretty common to fluctuate between the two – some days up and some days down. A bit like a see-saw…the old fashioned type where you can be right up there and then right back down, more often than not with a great bang as the support on the other side suddenly left.
Sometimes the episodes of mental ill health become all too frequent. There can be many reasons for this. Over the past year or so we have had extra stressors for sure, but I think the modern world, while providing many useful and helpful things, has also brought extra stressors and demands. Our challenge is to manage how we react to those demands.
I have always been interested in people. Some years ago I realised I quite liked listening to people and the more I listened, the more I realised people were finding life a bit tough. What could I do to help? How could I make a difference?
And so began my foray into mental health.
Taking the first stride (see what I did there), I completed a Diploma of Counselling and then found myself volunteering at Lifeline as a crisis supporter and mentor. Whilst that certainly allowed me to provide support for those in need, I also wanted to be part of something that would help improve mental health in the workplace and the community.
Introducing Mental Strides – a team of dedicated, passionate people who work with organisations to build positive, supportive mental health cultures.
Each member of the team brings their unique set of skills, knowledge, and life experience, which is what makes Mental Strides so special. Together we deliver specialised training and support in mental health first aid, suicide prevention and personal skill development.
It is something I’m very passionate about, and the idea of Mental Strides has been brewing for several years.
‘Back to this blog though. Taking Mental Strides will provide an opportunity to look at what can be done to better support good mental health, whether it is at an organisational level, with a community group or individually.
As this blog series grows, I hope my written meanderings give you food for thought, generate conversation or provide some distraction from the stressors in your day.
You’re also likely to see the odd photo of the people I love, the places I have been, and the things that bring me joy. These are what help me to take those mental strides through this wonderful, zany, beautiful world.
I am an accredited Mental Health First Aid and safeTALK Instructor, and a Lifeline Crisis Supporter and Mentor. With more than 20 years of experience working with local governments, communities, and organisations to build their capacity in achieving common goals, I’m excited to be part of something that will help improve mental health in the workplace and the community.