It’s mental health awareness week! Which means anybody and everybody is talking about mental health issues this week which is AWESOME. As long as people keep talking or at least thinking about it afterwards.
Mental health is a HUGE topic that needs to be addressed a lot more than it currently is. In much the same way as physical health, actually.
I’m probably going to go down a slightly different route than most people in this post. Because I believe that both our physical and mental health care systems are backwards.
What’s The Big Problem?
Most of the time when we talk about mental health care we talk about how there’s not enough support for people with existing mental health issues. Which, don’t get me wrong, is very important. There’s not enough support for people with existing mental health issues which is the topic everybody else is covering so I’m going to leave that to them.
In the same way, most of the time when we talk about physical health care we talk about how we need more bed in hospitals, more doctors do treat people, more funding for research into cures. Which, again, is important because there are lots of sick people.
But just think about this with me for a second. We now have more medicines, diagnoses, doctors, nurses, hospitals, researchers, surgeons, vaccines, personal trainers, counsellors, psychiatrists, exercise coaches, life coaches and alternative therapists than ever before. So why do we also still have more overweight, unhappy, depressed, diseased, chronically ill and generally sick people than ever before to the point where we don’t have enough beds in hospitals to look after them all?
That’s A Valid Point, Actually
I know, right? Maybe we’re looking at things the wrong way around. On both sides. Both physical and mental health care.
We spend all of our time and money looking after people who are already sick. Why don’t we spend that much time and money preventing all those people from getting sick in the first place?
The conspiracy theorist in me says because it’s not as profitable, but let’s not go there today.
I don’t call our current systems “health care”. I call them “sick care”.
Who’s To Blame?
I don’t know, to be honest. We’ve just kind of ended up this way. And looking around so has pretty much every other country’s health care system.
Don’t think for a second I’m blaming all the amazing doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychiatrists and counsellors in our NHS for this being the way things are. Those are some of the most amazing people who give SO MUCH of their lives, their hearts and souls, into helping people get better.
I’ve worked with plenty of doctors and nurses over the years and I know how good hearted they are and how badly they want to be able to do their jobs better and more easily and help even more people. But with so many sick people to deal with, it’s hard to.
So What Do We Do About It?
What I’m trying to do is help them out. I’m trying to one by one, with every person who reads this, help there be one less person who gets sick that we have to make better.
With every post about good meals, about moving more, about understanding and looking after your mind. Every single one of them is to try to prevent one more person from getting sick, both physical and mental.
Working on your Mind, Meals, and Movement all contribute to both better physical and mental health.
Find a kind of exercise you love and go to town on it as often as you can, eat more vegetables, practice gratitude every day, meditate, drink more water, spend more time outdoors, go camping, reduce your sugar intake, volunteer to help a charity, tell people you love them, join a running club, smile more, laugh more, treat yourself every once in a while and don’t feel bad about it.
Any and all of these things and so many more will help to improve your physical and mental health. If you put yourself first and do these things; you’ll be far more likely to live a long, happy, sick-free life. And, if you’re that one less person who doesn’t get sick and add more workload to the already overworked NHS staff…
That means they get more time to help the people who are already sick.
And that’s all you need to do if you really want to help people with mental health issues. Or physical health issues. Or the NHS as a whole.
Put yourself first. Be more selfish.
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Title image via The People Speak!