#TimeToTalk - Not just today, but every day
It's #TimeToTalk day today, and I was reflecting on this time two years ago when I was in the throes of #PostNatalDepression without even realising it. I talked about it in this LinkedIn post last year, and it keeps coming back to me. I was obviously doing an incredible job of masking how I was feeling, even to myself, and I don't think that's atypical. I was so lucky to have amazing support from family, friends, coworkers, my awesome GP and some excellent pharmaceuticals who all helped me to get back to feeling somewhere like my real self.
I didn't feel comfortable talking about it all until I was out the other side - it felt too risky, even in the work I do, to admit any kind of vulnerability - so I was struck yesterday by the courage of my people like my lovely former colleague Michael McSperrin who are brave enough to be so open about mental health whilst they are still in the throes of feeling dreadful. There's something so strong about being able to do this, so huge kudos to those who do.
I still have to be really vigilant about my #mentalhealth and I'm very lucky to work with two of my favourite people in the world (Kate Cahn and Julie Martins (she/her)) who are equally as vigilant about keeping an eye on me. Maybe that's why #TimeToTalk really resonates with me. We've noticed in our work that everyone from CEOs to students is still feeling the after effects of the absolute chaos of the last few years. No one is feeling as resilient or chipper as they have been in the past - it's like we're all working from batteries that won't charge above 15%.
It is, however, still sadly rare to see folk in senior leadership positions being open and vulnerable about where they are from a mental health perspective. So let's not have #TimeToTalk day as a one-off, instead, let's all think about making a resolution to be a bit more open and transparent about how we're feeling; to #AskTwice if you think something isn't right with a friend, coworker or loved one; and to remember that the idea of #BeKind has to start with ourselves.
Quick calls to action
1. If you are a leader in an organisation - please share your vulnerabilities with your people - it makes an ENORMOUS difference.
2. #AskTwice - if you see someone who you think isn't quite their usual selves - please please check in - it really does make a difference.
Amazing people to follow for #mentalhealth content:
- Mind - obviously
- Luminate - our amazing partners working in this space
- The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network - BAATN - who we've discovered in our work with another mental health organisation - an amazing network of therapists and they share incredible content and resources on their website.
- Our friends at Gendered Intelligence who have an incredible network of counsellors for trans folk and their families.
And for anyone needing urgent help, Samaritans are always available and doing incredible work.