Chances Are, Your Heroes Have Experienced Mental Heath Challenges

11 Mar 2020 | News

It’s 2020, and people are talking more. We are more aware of the world around us and our feelings than ever. This is good news right? Yes, but external pressures are often greater than our ability to evolve and meet the needs of the modern world. The first person we need to support & help is ourselves.  Take time for more of the good stuff, whatever that is be sure to focus on you. I try to draw up 2 lists, “stuff I like doing” & “stuff I don’t like doing” then try and balance the necessary don’t likes with likes each week… and don’t forget to smile!

Our heroes, whoever they are, whatever their chosen profession, are taking a lead and sharing their feelings, stories and advice. From royalty to sports stars, positive examples are being set every day. Still, is this enough? It’s a start, a great start. This start is helping to remove many of the stigmas associated with mental health issues and as a result we are more likely to talk about mental health. With the challenges of daily life, my family have discussed the mental well-being of 2 to 3 close relatives. Something I believe that without the actions of Princes William & Harry, the heads up campaign at football and seeing world class cricketers talking about their demons would have been a harder conversation for some of us. That being said, we still lose many people who are well known to us due to Mental Health issues.

Social Media

If the Facebook era is the birth of social media hype, then we have had more than 15 years to come to terms with best practice, rules and maybe even laws surrounding the use of social media. But, not! 

In recent years I have been active, specifically within ProAV communities, and this has exposed me to many brilliant people, almost all of them kind souls and fun to chat with. If I remain inside this niche/bubble, trolls typically do not exist. Whenever asked for advice within the #Avtweeps community, I typically lead with “play nicely, support others and be honest”

My social media best practices:
  • Play nicely – if you are a social media user and see a post thinking “that’s a great image, a nice dress a fantastic opinion” yes, get in there, comment and join the conversation. There really are some great people out there. If you see a post thinking “don’t like your fashion, make up … anything” don’t comment. If we all did this, trolling would be under control!
  • Support others – Despite previous failed attempts to network the Cisco/Polycom reseller communities, within the #AVtweeps community, there have been people who have supported my journey, I always reach out for advice and general discussions even now. So, in return pay it forward and support someone else?
  • Be honest – Can be confused with play nicely, right? Just be yourself, but the best version of you that you can be?

Here’s an example of how to / how not to communicate online. I want to tell you about a bear I know …

Paddington is a bear who has a kind heart, gentle soul and does everything he can to help people and make their day a little better.

Paddington is a bear who doesn’t belong here, he wears his dead uncles hat and leaves a trail of chaos behind him everywhere he goes.

Why not try to find the best in everyone you know?

So, what are Involve doing?
We have created a Time to Change Action Group, and we have 2 Mental Health First Aiders – Linden Clarke & Lizzie Worthington who are already doing great work here, thank you Linden & Lizzie.

We have an action plan with lots of activities that will support awareness and the well-being of us all at Involve, which includes signing The Time to Change Employer Pledge, a commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.