I went to see some very helpful people at Mind this morning for their campaign skills training – a marvellous free service they offer to people like me who care about mental health but don’t know what to do about it. It was great to meet people at the sharp end of the spectrum, campaigning at local level for specific support for service users. Very humbling to see how much passion and commitment goes into making even the smallest changes to the ‘system’.
Interestingly, the first ‘icebreaker’ question of the day was “What’s good for your mental health?” – a very Mindapples question if ever there was one. Everyone had at least one thing to say, so, in no particular order, here’s what they said:
- walks in the open air
- supporting your football team (when they win)
- being listened to and respected
- being taken seriously
- talking to friends
- doing something you’re good at
The idea of being listened to and taken seriously is a big one for me. I’m not sure if it’s something we can always control ourselves though, more like something we need from our environment. That’s why we’re focussing on the simple, practical things we can all DO to care for our minds. But it’s important to acknowledge that what’s good for our mental health is as much about our context as our activities.
Here are some more ideas from Mind on how to improve your mental wellbeing.