Woman Suffering

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Raising the Profile of Mental Health

It has been really good to see mental health entering the forefront of people's minds (no pun intended). An excellent example is that of the recent article written by the Duchess of Cambridge whilst at the helm of the Huffington Post. In this article Kate Middleton highlights how important early intervention or at least clear support needs to be available to young people and children.

Having a good support network or resources available to children and young adults can prevent subsequent issues in their adult life. At the same time potentially eradicating years of suffering for the young person when they need it most.

Not only does Kate Middleton's efforts raise the profile of the existing organisations involved, it also goes a long way to help normalise the conversation of mental health. Mental health is a very human issue and after all, we are all human and so this relates to each and every one of us to varying degrees in our lives.

It is also great to see the profile of mental health being raised by a number of media giants including: the BBC and ITV. It is this kind of coverage that will help reduce the stigma and encourage people to seek help and advice to overcome the challenges they face.

Interestingly, some schools in the United Kingdom are starting to introduce mindfulness into the daily lessons. Arguably there is nothing new about what is being taught here. Various eastern philosophical practices and beliefs have incorporated mindfulness and meditation into their lives since almost the beginning of time. Here in the west we are playing catch up with this concept, however, it is certainly better late than never.

It is obviously important to identify mental health issues such as when a person is depressed or suffering with anxiety. Sometimes this can provide some relief to the sufferer, knowing finally why they have been feeling like they have. However, there is a slight downside with this, as the label can sometimes start to define the person. We are bigger than a label and this needs to be explored by the individual to regain control and perspective of problem they may have.

The brain is obviously a very complex organ and often we don't consider or examine its role in any kind of detail. I am not a neuroscientist, however, as part of my training as a hypnotherapist I was introduced to some very useful and interesting neuroscience elements. When we are given an insight into what is really going on in the apparent blob of grey matter housed in our heads, we can understand and become empowered with the prospect of how we might find a way to help ourselves.

Even with just a slight increase in the understanding of the inner workings of a brain, this can bring enough insight to allow us to separate concerns and achieve a little distance from the problem. By stepping back rather than just being consumed or defined wholly by the problem, we can start to see a way forward and this builds in multiple ways to increase our well-being.

Hypnotherapy along with elements of Psychotherapy which are incorporated in my practice at Stoify (Stamford, Lincolnshire) can be an excellent way of gaining some space from a problem. Once an insight is gained into why we are feeling the way we do, we can then apply various strategies to reduce the problem. In addition to the gentle and relaxing way in which trance works, it can also help to remove false beliefs which can maintain the unhelpful state of mind.