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This week is Mental Health Awareness week, an important opportunity to reflect on our mental wellbeing and take steps to improve it. Just like physical health we all have mental health and yet we don’t always recognise or allow ourselves to invest the same amount of time in our mental health as we do in our physical health.
At TPP, we are committed to supporting the mental health of our staff, and as part of this commitment, we will be taking a wellbeing hour to focus on ourselves. We will also be hosting two coffee mornings for everyone to come together and share experiences in a safe and supportive environment.
I recently had a great break in Cornwall, my home county, the week was just what I needed to get a mental break from work and the normal day to day routine with long beach walks (picture above from one of those walks) to blow the cobwebs away.
Before going away I have to admit that I was finding some things challenging and I felt overwhelmed. As you may know alongside my role as CEO of TPP, I am also primary carer for my 89 year old father who has kidney disease. We recently learnt that he needs to start dialysis, which will be home based and the prospect of balancing this with everything else was and is daunting.
During this week a colleague described me in a meeting as being “superhuman” and I openly admitted that whilst it might appear that I was swan like on the outside under the surface there was frantic activity which was anything but calm!
I share this with you because one should not assume that the strongest or most fearless people are exempt, everyone can have low mental health just like everyone can get a cold. It is healthy and OK to admit you aren’t “superhuman”. The people that count on you won’t judge you for this and it might also help them adjust their expectations or how they measure themselves against others (which let’s face it is never a good thing to do).
Today, there is an unspoken expectation that we should always be striving to be superhuman - constantly productive, efficient, and able to handle any challenge that comes our way with ease. However, the truth is that we are all human beings with limitations, which is perfectly okay.
It's important to remember that mental health conditions are not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. There are many resources available for people who are struggling with mental health issues, including therapy, medication, support groups, and self-care techniques. These resources can help people manage their symptoms, improve their quality of life, and find a sense of peace and wellbeing.
If you are struggling with your mental health, it's okay to reach out for help. You don't have to go through it alone, and there is no shame in admitting that you need assistance. Speak to a family member, friend, colleague or professional. By taking care of your mental health, you can be better equipped to handle the challenges that life throws your way, and you can enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life.
It is so important to normalise conversations about mental health, for the week ahead and all year round, lets continue to support mental health as an essential aspect of our overall wellbeing.
It is OK not to be OK.