Do you have time to talk about mental health?

mental health talkTime to Talk Day – a campaign run by the charity Time to Change has the goal of normalising conversations about mental health.  Too often people feel like they need to have first hand experience to offer a comment or feel as though their experiences of dealing with mental health issues are somehow ‘less valid’ than other peoples because they have not been hospitalised or chosen to seek a different route of treatment.  Time to Talk encourages all of us to talk about mental health.  Let’s make these conversations a normal part of society.

“Then I realized that secrecy is actually to the detriment of my own peace of mind and self, and that I could still sustain my belief in privacy and be authentic and transparent at the same time. It was a pretty revelatory moment, and there’s been a liberating force that’s come from it.”

Alanis Morissette

When it comes to mental health, silence and secrecy breeds suffering.  If we don’t hear that other people struggle, we start to believe that it’s just us. Often we’ve grown up without any role models when it comes to speaking about our emotions and experiences.  We struggle with emotional literacy. While we recognise some of our emotions, many of them feel slippery and elusive; frightening even.

A report by the Samaritans published in 2012 examined various causes of suicide concluding that emotional illiteracy is a key factor for men dying by suicide. Emotional literacy is the ability to understand and recognise one feelings and knowing how to manage them, such as the ability to keep calm when angry or frustrated or to self-sooth when sad or frightened.

When we start to open up about our mental health and discuss our feelings we improve our emotional literacy.

Having sessions with a caring professional, like a hypnotherapist, can help men learn the tools of emotional literacy.  Working with a hypnotherapist can provide fast and effective relief from stress and anxiety. Al Levin, a US based blogger and men’s mental health activist regularly encourages men to avail themselves of mental health services.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) says that while some people can manage with the stresses their work and modern society put on them, ‘more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and well-being’. Working with a hypnotherapist is often very different from working with a conventional psychologist or counsellor; often men notice that they feel better and more able to cope after just a few sessions.

The benefits of sessions with a hypnotherapist include feeling more confident. You’ll work together with your chosen hypnotherapist to find and change triggers and reactions to situations that you found stressful or unmanageable in the past.  “Hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, [so you can] react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious,” says the NCH.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has close to 2000 fully trained and insured therapists on their register, many of whom specialise in working with men and men’s issues.

To find out more, or to find a therapist who is a good fit for you, visit the NCH therapist finder.

Time to Talk Day is February 6th.

If you’re feeling suicidal or completely unable to cope, the Samaritans are always available to speak to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 116 123.