Mental Wellness Week

Hello all! Thank you for your support, compassion and kind messages over the past week. Each one meant A LOT!

This is a week dedicated to mental health. Some people call it “Mental Illness Week”, others say “Mental Health Week”, but, you know me, I must be different and I choose to call it “Mental Wellness Week”.

Mental illnesses and mental health issues are so often at the forefront of conversations and in trying to get help out there to those whom need it the most.
Of course I support both of these conversation but I wonder what sort of world would we have in 20 years if mental wellness was taken seriously as well? Teaching our youngest children to our oldest senior how to better care for their mental wellness.

Rather than focusing solely on what to look for in society to point out the mentally ill person and help them before it is too late, what if we began to encourage positive mental wellness messages as well. How do you spot a person who takes excellent care of their own mental wellness? How do we take that model and teach it to those who’ve never understood or been taught how to or fell off the rails somehow?

A lesson such as compassion for oneself would radically change our world for the better. I know from my own journey and watching others going through the same journey that the people who are able to show compassion for themselves and can accept their humanness in all its glory and its gory are the same people whom are more able to extend compassion towards others.
I know for certain that I was a far more judgmental and harsh person when I had no compassion for myself. I didn’t have it for others either even though I thought that I did.
When I finally realized that I was just a human being with so many facets, I was able to start being more accepting of others as well.
Imagine a world where we show compassion towards ourselves and then for others. I can’t even think of how much that woudl change our world for the better.

And self-care. Remember being a teapot 2 weeks ago? The importance of keeping yourself full and taking care of your own needs so that you would have the ability to offer goodness from within yourself to others.
What if we began to teach children how important they are. Not due to any ability or level of cuteness but being a worthy human being just for being alive?
Could that child become a teenager that put their own needs for safety and wellness above the needs of a group? Could they make better choices about where to spend their time and who to give their time to if they only knew to put themselves before the boyfriend, girlfriend, groups or others?

Worthiness. Teaching people that they are worthy.
Worthy of a good life, worthy of safety and protection, worthy of being heard and believed, worthy of exactly what anyone else has emotionally…
Worthy even if they are not being taught that at home? How long could abuse last if the person being abused saw themselves of being absolutely worthy of a better life? Never blaming themselves or taking on responsibility for the other persons behaviour. Can you imagine?
Even as a very young child, knowing this one skill would have propelled me in to speaking out more and not stopping so quickly. If I’d known that I was worthy of better… wow.

There are so many life skills that we just do not often teach at home or at school. This is not done neglectfully. It is bypassed because most of today’s adults don’t know what mental wellness includes or how to go about getting it. I didn’t! As a parent, I never taught my children much at all about becoming or staying mentally healthy and well. I did not teach it to them because I hadn’t been taught it yet myself. This needs to change in my opinion.

Wouldn’t it be terrific to one day wake up and realize that we now lived in a happier world filled with people who really knew how to care for themselves and considered themselves worthy of such treatment?
Bullies woudl hold far less power.
Abusers would have a much harder time convincing someone that horrible treatment was deserved somehow.
Pedophiles would be at a huge disadvantage if there was no hidden need for them to prey on. Children would already feel special.

John Lennon sang “Imagine” so many years ago but I’d love to add to those lyrics. Just imagine a world where most people are mentally healthy and skilled while far fewer suffer mental illness because they can catch it when it starts and get help immediately rather than putting it off for days, weeks, or years.

imagine

3 responses to “Mental Wellness Week

  1. What a beautiful lesson you’ve taught us today, Heather! If I used one word to sum it up, I would say that you taught us about empowerment! Self-worth, self-love and the self-care that results from our truly possessing these character traits, this crucial mental wellness, should be taught to children by parents and teachers. Explicitly.
    I thought that if I just loved my children enough, they’d feel worthy and they’d have live for themselves, but as you point out, these are really skills that we must teach in a systematic way. It’s exciting to think about developing and implementing a mental wellness program! I
    I’m attempting to believe that I am worthy of creating a mental wellness program for myself.
    I can imagine advocating for children’s mental wellness, and a proactive approach to this issue, instead of continuing with the status quo — reacting to mental health problems, reporting abuse, seeing the effects of neglect.
    What an extraordinary vision! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and hope today.

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  2. Realizing I was worthy was a big game changer for me. And it needs to be taught. And it can. The message needs to come from an authority figure so it can counter the effects of any dysfunctional messages from a child’s home. So what better forum than school and our teachers? My wake-up call came from a bible study at a church I attended during a period of great faith. The message for a week was that God made me and that God does not make garbage. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I thought of myself as garbage. Such a relief to find out that I wasn’t! I was finally able to claim respect for myself and stand up to my mentally abusive husband because I no longer thought I deserved his bad treatment. He refused to change and we wound up divorced but it was better than enduring more years of abuse and having my young son witness it and become an abuser or victim. Getting the message out that each and every human is worthy of respect would change a lot of people’s lives. Of course, it also needs to be followed by respectful actions. This needs to be part of every school’s curriculum.

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  3. yes I wholeheartedly agree! these life lessons about how to care for your mental wellbeing need to be taught early on! Great post. XX

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