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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Cooper

Mental health awareness day

Hey there, I hope you've had a great weekend so far and ready to smash the new week! Ok so it was yesterday, however, it’s an important topic to discuss every day of the year Mental health is often one of those topics pushed under the carpet, it can be because people are uncomfortable to talk about it in a broad context or because they feel they are suffering from it yet don’t want to be seen as weak or be mocked.  Also, people often don’t see something as a problem as they have a coping mechanism, however that’s just like not opening the final demand letter from the bank, it doesn’t go away, it just gets worse I would say this is crazy as you need to get help with these things early on, however, I know exactly how they feel as I’ve spent years with anxiety and stress. Due to a highly stressful job, lots of travel, busy family life and a perfectionist nature I got myself deeper into a hole than I realised, I guess when you’re close to it you don’t realise how bad it gets as it’s a slow process over time but the biggest thing is you think it’s just you.  No one else would understand Below are the results of a survey by Harvey Nash of IT professionals and you can see that 50% have suffered from or are currently suffering from stress due to work.  A huge statistic on it’s own, however you then need to consider that some people would have said no as yes is a sign of weakness or not realising they are stressed, and also this is just asking regarding work, so others will be stressed from home life or other events

Back in May, while we were in full lockdown, I did a video to talk about my anxiety in the hope it would inspire people to take action on their own issues.  I was amazed by the great reaction but even more so that some people messaged me to say they have an almost identical situation and they had the same “tool kit” as their safety net.  I couldn’t believe that something I perceived as so unique was actually affecting a number of people I know in an almost identical way.  So, imagine how many others in the world must be feeling exactly like this and how many other people are feeling similar but with different triggers and coping mechanisms I finally got help, I reached a point that I couldn’t go on like this and reached out to the NHS (UK health service) to get that help and they were amazing.  Mostly it was just talking with someone and taking small steps to start to feel ‘normal’ again.  It was simple yet highly effective Talking is so powerful but is often ignored or felt too uncomfortable Something else I realised was that people close to me had noticed that I was struggling but didn’t say anything.  They probably felt awkward or that it wasn’t their business However, I’d suggest anyone who sees someone struggling should offer a voice or ear to help them get through it.  You might need to open yourself up to them a little also to set the tone and make sure both of you feel comfortable and build some psychological safety. Once you’re engaging with that person, please recommend professional help as the mind is a complex thing So, please reach out to someone in need, but more importantly please reach out to someone if you don’t feel right and think it could be better.  The earlier you address it, the better you’ll feel and quicker you can get back to feeling like yourself If you liked this newsletter, please share and let you friends and colleagues know about it as I’d love to help more people!


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