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    Thursday Talk Time - C is for Crisis

    With regards to mental health, a crisis is a situation I'm sure many of us will have experienced - where we suddenly feel unable to cope with or be in control of our current situation. These crises can vary wildly from person to person and even from day to day, some may experience thoughts about suicide or self harm whereas others may experience hallucinations and begin to hear voices.

    It is important to know what kind of help is available to anyone experiencing a crisis, as it can be more difficult in the moment to think of a way to get help. This post will list a few resources and places you can contact if you or someone close to you is experiencing a moment of crisis.

    As a preface it is very important to note that if anyone is a serious risk to themselves or anyone around them it is imperative that you call 999.

    Firstly, Mind have an excellent webpage dedicated to crisis services and planning for a crisis which you can find here - Which is definitely worth a look.

    Secondly, the Samaritans have a free phoneline service if you ever want to talk to someone in confidence, you can reach these on 116 123

    Thirdly, you can access NHS resources through calling 111 if the crisis is not life threatening but someone still needs urgent help. Furthermore, you can often book an emergency GP appointment if the surgery is aware that you/someone you know is in crisis and needs urgent help (although this will most likely be a telephone appointment with the current climate!)

    In closing I think it is worth noting that mental health crises are a normal part of experiencing mental health difficulties and, unfortunately, there is still a stigma around being in that moment of need. Some may view this as weakness, but I firmly believe that that view is wrong - it is not weakness to need support, it is not weakness to be vulnerable and it is most definitely not weakness to reach out to someone else when you need it the most.

    Have you experienced a mental health crisis before? If so what helped you get through it?

    #crisis #MentalHealth #ThursdayTalkTime #ABC #letstalk

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    The Road to Recovery #ThursdayTalkTime

    When someone says ‘recovery’ what kind of images does this generate in your mind? To some, an idea of months of gruelling and unforgiving hard work. To others, it might be something they are in the middle of and that consumes a lot of their day to day life. To me it conjures an image of a journey. A journey that will for sure have its dark times - but will also have monumental ups to compensate for those dips. Recovery will naturally require a lot of work, but it should also include some fun.

    The way I see it is like travelling from up North all the way down to London, there are many routes you could take to get there – you could spend years traversing all the little side roads in every little village between here and London. You could catch the wrong bus and accidentally end up in Scotland and be a little further from your destination (it is important to remember that even in that scenario, London is still within reach!). Or you could barrel straight down the M1.

    In the case of the latter you might find that if you tried to do the journey in one fell swoop that you hit a monster traffic jam or your belly might start to rumble from lack of a hearty breakfast, then you have a choice. Do you keep barrelling down the M1 in all the misery that accompanies traffic jams and empty bellies? Or do you pull into a service station or an interesting landmark on the way and take a breather and have a bite to eat? Sure, continuing with your journey with no stops might be the quickest way to get there but is that really worth it if you get there ravenously hungry and bored out of your mind? I firmly believe that those little side stops along the way are crucial, both in getting to London and in your recovery.

    Mental health problems are often a looming shadow over the heads of those experiencing them that will seep into every aspect of one’s life. I can tell you from personal experience that this will often result in someone having a majority of their hobbies and interests taken from them by their illness, for instance in my case I went from reading a new book every week to a new one every few months. I believe that it is important to remember that this is completely normal and does not mean that the things you once enjoyed are forever out of your reach, instead they are merely obscured by that obfuscating shadow of mental ill health.

    I think that it is important to take that leap of faith and reach through that fog to reconnect with the things that you used to enjoy before mental illness came along and wrecked the party, because its not just reconnecting with hobbies and interests – its reconnecting with life itself. No matter what form this takes, be it physical activity, faith, work, learning, art, music, nature, good nutrition, relaxation, humour, supportive relationships or any manner of other things I haven’t listed – trying to seek and find the joy that accompanies these things is critically important.