I have something for you. It’s a poster-thing!
I’m so excited about this! My very first poster! Oh-my-oh-my! *throws imaginary confetti*
But wait, I have to tell you all about it came about…
A few weeks ago I gave a workshop for my friend’s “self-help group for people with mental health problems”.
I was writing about the stuff I absolutely wanted to make sure they took with them… And then this “list” came out: the biggest, most essential ideas for people who need what I’ve termed “mental healing”.
Yep. I don’t know how this came about, but I realised the expression “mental health” does not quite “work” (at least for me).
First, it’s not a verb and so you can’t easily convert it into “action”. You can’t say “I’m mental healthing”. You have to use something like “I’m working on my mental health”, which sounds pretentious, alienating, pompous and annoying.
Similarly, nobody ever says “I’m working on my physical health”. Instead people say “I’m exercising” or “I’m on a new diet”. Everyone assumes that “health” is the ultimate goal.
But the real reason why I came up with the term is because… it brings us all together. *Insert call for imaginary group hug here* *Imo sings Kumbayah* (no, he doesn’t)
There isn’t a single person in this culture who doesn’t need “mental healing” of some kind or another. (Or healing in general, for that matter)
Think about it… if some of us have “mental health issues”, what does that mean for the rest of the people in this society? That they don’t? That they are “mentally healthy”?
There’s no way to be mentally “healthy” in this culture without consciously taking steps to heal one’s mind regularly.
Put in another way: the default state for the mind of a person who has lived their whole life in this culture is, at the very least, “unbalanced”. Oh, sure, people “function”. But that’s not the same thing as “people are mentally healthy”.
So. Out with the distinction between the “mentally ill” and everyone else.
The concepts and techniques that heal the mind of people with “mental health issues” are exactly the same concepts and techniques needed for everyone to stay mentally healthy. And without them we are all “mentally ill” to some degree.
We all need to heal our minds regularly. It’s part of the “deal”: we’re given a mind and a body and we have to look after them both.
So… without further ado… I give you The Poster-thing!
Yes, it contains a lot of words. What can I say? I’m a writer.
It’s also rather pretty, if I say so myself.
Hope you like it! And here’s to mental healing for everyone!