#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek Carol Milters

Mental Health is not an individual matter | #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

If the air that we breathe is toxic,
not even the most advanced breathing exercise will help us live better.

Mental health is not just a matter of therapy, 
medication and emotional intelligence.

It is NOT a matter of resilience.
It is a matter of living in society.

It is a matter of the stimuli we are exposed to,
of the messages we received from our families,
from our communities,
from the world around us.

When a building is on fire,
the firefighter’s equipment and training are used to put out the fire, 
not to sit inside the fire and wait.

This #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek,
I want to say that there is a lot of work to be done for our mental health.

Internal work of self-awareness.

We need to go back inside to ourselves and understand who we really are without the noise of the world.
We need to devote time and energy to taking care of ourselves.
To pursue what nourishes our body, our mind and our spirit.

We need to move our bodies, we need to remind our nervous system that it doesn’t need to be in constant alert mode,
we need to accept ourselves as we are, to know and value our uniqueness.

But that’s not just it.

There is also a lot of external work, 
to (re)build and reimagine how we live in society.

We need to face the fact that the economic models that pushed us into a climatic and psychological chaos are no longer useful and that we need to build something new, together, as a network.

We need to stop concentrating wealth and power on very few and relearn how to distribute, relearn how to collaborate, relearn how to work as a group.

We need to direct our attention to what unites us, rather than what divides us, 
to build and maintain alliances of mutual gain.

We need to stop glorifying billionaires and people who have fame or power, 
and appreciate who is right beside us, doing the work that really holds the world together.

We need to identify, 
report and repair individual and systemic abuses, 
making it clear that any disrespect for a human being is unacceptable.

There is no mental health disconnected from the world.
And the first step of all is awareness.

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Carol Milters

Writer, facilitator and investigator of burnout, workaholism and the culture of mental health at work.

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