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Your Mental Health Matters!

It might seem strange to have a title like this. It perhaps seems so obvious, it appears superfluous in this day and age, doesn’t it go without saying, that your mental health matters? It is Mental Health Awareness Week, which imposes even more confusion to this statement. Why create awareness of something that to many, is simply a fact of life. We all have mental health, of course it matters! And yet, like many things that are ‘important’, our mental health needs are easy to overlook, put on the back burner, ignore, dismiss and downplay. This is especially true when there is seemingly no obvious urgent need for support, nor a glaring threat that is apparently looming over us. 

Stiff upper lip – Strength, weakness or both?

So often, (and it is oh so very British to do so), we adopt the mantra of, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. Although this, in, of itself, has been a helpful source of optimism and has become a symbol of the resilience of humans during painful and frightening times – it can, when taken to the extreme,  spotlight our tendency to habitually ignore the challenges/symptoms/unhealthiness in our lives. This habit of turning our heads away from problems may even be viewed by some, as a sign of strength, and to acknowledge our frailties, weaknesses and struggles will lead us down a path of ruin.

Sadly, this mentality often leaves us with far greater issues further down the line. Ignoring our needs, whether individually or as part of our relational systems, does not erase them. Its impact is harder to recover from with the course of time.

Challenges around mental health

Challenges around mental health are not just under-prioritised on an individual level, but are today, in May 2024, systematically played down and dismissed culturally and even (sometimes especially) by our representatives in government. Issues around mental health are repeatedly ignored and downplayed through lack of funding and recently, spoken about with open contempt by members of government, including the prime minister. The impact of this lack of investment may have at first be barely felt at all, but eventually has become like a great dam that is set to break and wreak devastation. Many have already felt the impact of waiting lists, lack of time with GPs and so on.

We have seen this play out in the UK, over the past decade, where the underfunding of important public services (notably the NHS) has, over time, left us in a time of crisis and overwhelm. The recent disappointing comments made by the British Prime Minister in April 2024, has left many questioning their own experiences around mental illness, wondering whether they’re ‘ill enough’ for support, worrying about the way mental health is discussed in public discourse and whether their current support structures will be taken away. It is clear that a very serious mark has been missed and that a lack of understanding about mental health is prevalent, even by those in governance.

It is clear (to some of us) that mental health matters, but now, more than ever, we must understand why.

Why UK Counselling Network?

UK Counselling Network seeks to give people access to affordable counselling from passionate and well-trained counsellors/psychotherapists.  It meets that need by thoughtfully allocating therapists that meet the needs of the client. You do not need to be neck deep in trauma and challenges, feel like you’re emotionally drowning or be on medication to qualify for counselling. Every person deserves their own space to explore the day-to-day challenges of life, as well as the weightier issues that show up at the door.

UK Counselling Network doesn’t have waiting lists and is ready to meet you where you’re at and work with what you bring. We do not have a cap on how many sessions you have, to accommodate for varying needs of support. Each therapist is a member of reputable ethical counselling bodies such as the BACP and UKCP.

We work in numerous capacities to meet the varying needs of people including:

Our mental health is a priority

Our mental well-being must be a priority. Only we live in our own minds and bodies. You show nothing but strength and resilience when understanding that we all have our limits, and that having support and a sense of safety, can really make all the difference. Rather than ignore issues, you can learn how to safely navigate difficult feelings and tools to manage the especially difficult stuff.

We at UK Counselling Network wish you a wonderful and reflective Mental Health Awareness Week and hope that if you are struggling in any capacity, that you take care of yourselves. Please know that there are people who are happy to walk with you on whatever part of your journey that you’re on. You’re never alone.  Reach out today and tel: 0113 285 2899 or book an initial free assessment.

This blog has been written by David Sheppard. Therapist and trainer with UK Counselling Network

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