From the Base
The Pilgrims' community - good mental health
A few months ago we focused on Children's Mental Health Awareness Week. For the last few years we have chosen that week to be our opportunity to ensure the message is child centred, accessible to students and parents alike.
However, it would be remiss of me not to take a moment to highlight last week, Mental Health Awareness Week, with its theme of 'Nature'. Please do look at the link here if you want to know more.
Hopefully, most of you now know the key components to self-care — diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, connecting with friends and family, and participating in activities you enjoy. These are huge steps forward in terms of keeping your mental health and wellbeing on a good, even keel, one in which you enjoy all life has to offer.
There are other steps you can take in life, such as your life situation, the workplace, making plans for the future and trying new things. In the coming years it would be great if we, as a community, could try to look how we support and develop some of these together.
Some people, however, find the circumstances of their life, or their genetics, or tragic events, cause them to have serious mental health problems, ones to which they have to spend time in hospital and in care, have support for parts of their life or possibly their entire lives. These people have an ongoing, and often unseen, battle, sometimes with serious and terrible consequences. I hope you never have to see or deal with this yourselves.
The truth is, however, that you are likely to at some point in your lives. Either you, or a family member or a friend, will need help. No amount of exercise or positive thinking or sharing with loved ones will be enough. Without help, the outcomes are poor. With professional help, the outlook is many times brighter.
If nothing else this week, please spend a little time thinking about the people around you who might need help. Mental health difficulties are an unseen challenge. Maybe consider fundraising for a mental health charity. Perhaps you could petition your MP to improve provision within your area. The mental health service is woefully underfunded for the current need and will remain so without significant change. How we respond as a society will shape the society we live in for the next twenty years.
With positive minds and positive actions, we can make a difference to a person, a community, and to everyone.
Take care of yourselves. Take care of your loved ones.
Kia kaha (Stay strong)
Aroha nui (Much love and deep affection)