Powerful healthy communities gather round vulnerability to help transform it, they don't run away from it. That vulnerability is common to all of us at different times, if we did run or cut off, really we would only be running away from, or isolating, our very selves.
Keynote speech in Bath University tomorrow about how the mental health scene needs to gather around it's own, and support calls for help with compassion and without stigma. There should be no shame in needing help as a helper, no shame in saying you need to take time to focus on being well, this is in fact competency.
Too often lived experience is conflated with risk and dangerousness..and we get quickly into the territory of stigma often fuelling media bias.
Too little is it understood that crises are always meaningful and can deliver a wealth of personal wisdom and development, and increase in capacity. It is not important that you may have wounds, what is important is how they are held and listened to.
If we forever only experience a mirror defined by risk held up to this process, of course we will only forever learn that we are to be ashamed and frightened. It is this community response that silences and needs to change.
We must take responsibility at personal and organisational level for questioning the attitudes that we hold, and how we meet each call for help from professionals, or sharing of past lived experience. Compassionate, human, 'of course' attitudes to needing time out if that is the case will help change restricted, tense, fearful processes and systems around this into ones where there is spaciousness to explore and be with others who can help.
Organisations must take responsibility for their attitudes and processes, this is not the preserve of only the individual. Mental health professionals are in prime position for being a beacon of light in understanding that distress is meaningful, human and not to be feared in itself. There are many incredible human beings out there in the field who are holding just this attitude and together we can move forwards to ensure that those masters of it are surpassed by their trainees. Just look at the wonderful proliferation of research to help understand this more at trainee thesis level!
The scene is beginning to shift and conversations are opening further. These bees are a timely inspiration whilst preparing today.