Breaking The Mental Health Stigma with Paul McGregor

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breaking the mental health stigma

In this episode, I speak to Paul McGregor, mental health speaker, advocate and author. He has been featured on the Huffington Post, BBC News and Sky News. He shares daily content, giving mental health a voice across multiple social platforms and through speaking and workshops across the UK . Paul shares his own journey and struggles with mental health whilst also providing insight on what we can do to not only help ourselves but others. It’s time to remove the stigma and be open.

We also look at mental health issues in the workplace and his new venture Every Mind At Work. This is a mental health platform using technology to engage with employees to create a culture of openness and acceptance. Subscribe to the podcast below for weekly episodes.

What is mental health and why is it so important?

Mental health is about how we think, feel and act. Just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

Our mental health is on a spectrum, and can range from good to poor.

Good mental health can help you to think positively, feel confident and act calmly.

If you have poor mental health, you might find that the way you’re thinking, feeling or acting becomes difficult to cope with. You might not enjoy things you used to like doing, you might feel sad or angry for a longer time than usual, or you might feel like you can’t control how you feel or behave.

Why we need to open up and talk about mental health is important.

Giving the extraordinary times we are within – working from home, furlough, redundancies, businesses struggling, not being able to see loved ones – this will all put a significant strain on our mental health. We sometimes feel that we are alone or we do not know how to handle this. The stigma is still there – we think that by feeling down or depressed that there is something wrong with us. Instead of talking about this and looking for help, we ensure that we stay extra busy, watch more TV or do anything we can to distract our selves from tackling this head on.

The difference is, you are not alone. We are all facing this and mental health is more common than you think.

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.

Most common mental health issue is anxiety and depression – Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis. 4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.

There are abundance of resource available to you. I personally feel that opening up and speaking to someone about what you’re feeling will truly help.

I see opening up as viral marketing. When we share an image on social media that we like and then friends like and share etc, that image will grow and grow and more people will see this until it becomes viral – all because this image was good and people want to share to make others like and feel as happy as they did.

Can we do this with our feelings? Once we experience something good, we want to repeat this. By sharing our thoughts and what we are feeling, not only will it make you feel good by finally talking about it and releasing what is being kept inside. But, it will give that other person that chance to open to and make them feel good.

Let’s reach out to people and let them know that they have you as support. As long as we show support, those times when people feel that they need it will come to you for advice. We have no idea what people are going through and just for someone to listen can make all the difference.

If you find it difficult opening up to friends and family of fear of judgement and want something anonymous, do leave a comment and I am more than happy to offer full support. Little steps can make all the difference.

Hope you enjoy the episode.

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