I write this from the perspective of a working mother, who has had her fair share of dark days, and gladly light days; who juggles life, work, children, caring and relationships.
I facilitate a project called Tea & Talk Devon, which is a mental health awareness project. Our aim is to create a warm and friendly environment to help people feel comfortable talking about mental health, with tea and cake. We want Devon to have a better attitude to mental health and to challenge the stigma and discrimination people can face - in work, school or accessing services. Part of the project is for you to make a small pledge, something small and achievable that can retain good mental health or to support someone who may be struggling.
When we deal with mental health problems, our own or others, we are not only faced by the experiences themselves but also people’s attitudes to those experiences which can at times be as damaging and unhealthy as the experiences themselves.
Projects like this are important because:-
Having a mental health problem can penetrate your identity so everything else gets hidden away, people see you differently and society sees you differently. But you aren’t different. You are still a parent, child, friend, sibling or employee.
Tea & Talk Devon has so far this year had nearly 300 people attend the sessions.