On Wednesday evening I went to a rather interesting group which was run by my favourite Mental Health “Explainer” - Julian Harrison. I say “Explainer” because he genuinely explains Mental Health in such a way that I feel I can ask questions and he will give answers in a language I can understand.
Julian's latest venture is a group called “Mind Apples” and it was a group which I felt very comfortable in.
The premise of “Mind Apples” comes from the old saying “An apple a day keeps the Doctor away”. Yes – I know – you are probably thinking that you have to physically eat apples. Apart from that – doesn't that saying only apply to physical health and not Mental Health???
Congratulations – you have hit the nail on the head. We get bombarded with all kinds of tips and tricks to help us keep ourselves in tiptop physical condition but the Mental side of things seems to have been ignored for most people. Until – of course - they develop really poor Mental Health and then everyone starts panicking.
“Mind Apples” wasn't a kind of “Alcoholics Anonymous” for those with poor Mental Health but it was a useful way of finding out how people deal with stress and what they do to calm themselves down when they feel stressed.
I am going to write about my ways of dealing with stress in another blog post. What I will say is that my favourite method of relieving stress is counter-intuitive to most people. I simply take my glasses off. (For a fuller explanation and my other techniques see the blog post I am going to type on the subject.)
Not enough is said about how to prevent poor Mental Health. We need people like Julian and Judith Critchley from “Loving Mental Health” to share their experiences and make talking about Mental Health (good or poor) seem normal.
I don't want to do Julian a disservice but I really think he makes more sense when he talks about Mental Health than most people because he has poor Mental Health himself. He is also very open about it and how it affects him, (In fact, if his book on a year with his Mental Health comes out on Kindle I will buy it and read it. The book is called “A Year In Melancholia”.)
It is quite strange because I think Julian is a very inspirational person because he is the exact opposite of what you would expect someone with poor Mental Health to be like. What I mean is – I remember being slightly scared of him when I first met him. The best way I can describe him is – he looks like a very grumpy teddy bear but he is one of the kindest, most gentle, men I have ever had the privilege of calling a friend.