Posted on 26 April 2017
Thanks is due to William, Kate and Harry last week. I am writing this blog while watching the London marathon (from the comfort of my sofa I have to confess) and I am delighted to see all the blue Heads Together headbands. At last we are talking about mental health and this talk is being led by the most high profile people in the land. Marvellous!
As you will probably know, the Heads Together, the mental health charity supported by Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry which aims to get us talking about mental health, is featuring in this year’s London Marathon.
Well done to them, both for their work with the charity and for speaking out about their own struggles. It can be tough for any of us to share that we have experienced mental health issues, but if you know your disclosures are going to be headline news in the next day’s papers then that must add an extra pressure. We all felt for the young princes when their mother died and it has now come out just how much they suffered and how that suffering was compounded by the fact that they did not seek professional help for many years.
Many of the people I see for anxiety hypnotherapy have suffered terrible life events, such as the loss of a loved one. But I also see people who find it hard to cope with everyday life, including events which they expected to be joyous. If we are carrying unresolved issues and burdens then anything and everything can be difficult.
So, when I was listening to the interviews with the Royals, I was also interested to read Kate’s comments on how isolating she found new motherhood to be – I took from that the important truth that common experiences, the sort of thing we all go through, can affect our mental health as well. In fact, we can all face difficulties and as a society our mental health does seem to be getting worse. Prince William has raised his concerns about the suicide rate among young men, saying that he has seen the grim outcomes in his job as an air ambulance pilot.
Please do not under-estimate the importance of what our young royals have done here. The attitude of sweeping the problems under the carpet, of maintaining a ‘dignified silence’ and the ‘stiff upper lip’ may have gone forever. For the first time in living memory, in this country at least, the space is opening up for us all to talk about our mental health.
I have noticed the effects of this in my anxiety hypnotherapy clinic in Harley Street, where more and more of the people who book appointments tell me they have been suffering for years and have finally decided to do something about it. I know that the royals speaking out will impact on this even further so they have done a fantastic thing and I thank them, knowing that this will make a real difference to enormous numbers of people.
Where is this going to take us? Firstly, I hope we can look at making the environment less damaging to our mental health – less pressure on our young people, work life balance, more time for friends and family – all this could help.
Better advertising of helplines and mental health support charities can help people feel less isolated, and understanding that maintaining good supportive friendships can be protective of mental health can make us all happier.
I hope that we can begin to see a permanent improvement for people who have suffered mental health problems. I keep in contact with many of my clients – especially clients I have seen in my lack of confidence hypnotherapy sessions in Berkshire. One thing I notice is how working with me can build a resilience which goes far beyond the original problem which brought a client to me in the first place. This resilience can be permanent and protect my client against anything which life throws at them.
There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, in all my hypnotherapy clinics, I deal with the root causes of the problems and lead my clients to ways to develop a much healthier mental outlook. By doing this I can prepare my clients for a lifetime of good mental health. In every life there will be challenges and often traumas and disasters, the issue is how we deal with these when they happen. I know it is possible to build the sort of mental outlook which will enable us to deal with these situations in the best way possible.
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