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Lets start talking about mental health !

Interestingly I’ve had a few negative comments about a few words I have written about suicide. Obviously I’ve deleted the comments. I’m always really happy to reply to any comment, good or bad, but only when they are well thought out and reasoned arguments, rather than comments from the (at best) misinformed. I know that lots of people will shy away from writing about very contentious issues, things that people ‘don’t really like to talk about’. In my opinion not talking about mental health issues is something that just perpetuates mental health and makes people with problems feel like it’s something that sets them apart from others, that they are the only ones struggling. Stigma around mental health problems means people are less likely to get help or support from others.
Apart from seeing clients on a one to one and group basis, I work for a couple of hospitality companies handling their critical incidents and also do some consultancy for victims and families affected by injury and fatality. When I’m sat with the families of somebody who has recently committed suicide, the question they most want answered is ‘why’, what happened, why did they feel that this was the only alternative? The knowledge I’m able to give to people helps them make sense of a terrible tragedy, and to understand more about something that ‘society’ often dictates shouldn’t be spoken about.
Why on earth should we not talk about suicide? It’s devastating, of course it is, but feeling that it’s something you can’t talk about only makes it worse. Last week I spoke to the mother of somebody who had committed suicide and she told me that she notices people crossing the street rather than speak to her because they don’t know what to say. Let’s all help to make suicide or mental health problems of any kind something you can talk about.
So NO! I’ll never shrink away from writing about things that some may find ‘offensive, distasteful or uncomfortable’ because these are never words that should be associated with mental health issues.

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Although I consider myself a confident person, I was really nervous when I met Wendy for the first time. I had only emailed her before so it was really nerve wracking walking up the stairs to her office. I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I have ever done. Wendy is really normal, no in fact she isn’t normal as she is unfailingly bright and smiley even when she has to listen to me moan on about how awful my life was. It feels like having a chat with somebody who just gets you and you can trust with things you have never trusted anybody else with before. The magic bit comes when things you have talked about just pop up into your head and you start to do things differently. Wendy once joked about not having a magic wand, but I think she has.

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I came to Wendy with a set of problems I have never been able to fully explain to anyone, which included grief, many family issues and alcohol problems. Wendy truly has an active listening style and absorbs everything you are saying, whilst not making you feel analysed, it is an incredible skill. She astounded me at how she got to the crux of the issues so fast. So much so that we both agreed I only needed one session with her, obviously this may not be the case with everyone but I would confidently recommend her to anyone, regardless of your problems. There was no awkwardness or even clock watching, she is wonderful at what she does, take the plunge and make an appointment, you will not regret it. Life is a direction not a destination and she will get you on the path again.

JB

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