Guest blog by Collette, a self advocate who is a qualified Mental Health First Aider.
Hello, I’m Colette; a self advocate diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder et al.
I’m a qualified Mental Health First Aider.
Covid 19 has challenged everyone with the change in the World as we knew it. The changes of routines and adjusting to a new ‘normal’ increasing conditions like stress and anxiety.
My favourite quote is Jon Kabat-Zinn: “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf”.
It tells us that life brings challenges and to build mental strength to overcome obstacles.
How do we do this?
Mental Health First Aiders approach people and listen to them. Assessing how the person is feeling and what are their thoughts.
The brain is the largest organ and very complex so we do not offer a diagnosis. Instead we show a map where help is signposted and encourage our friends, family, colleagues or someone we have just met towards the support they need.
I’m conscious of people’s experience of support for different conditions can vary.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi said these words which we all feel and why we are the family of Learning Disability England – to make a positive difference.
I’m aware that people may be nervous about getting support for conditions like anxiety so I will sum up my experience: hopefully you are familiar with the story Mary Poppins. It’s like meeting someone new: you talk for an hour, have an adventure and when all is feeling better – Mary helps someone else. You have the memories and the building block foundations of strength.
This is also known as talking therapies – you are aware of the number of weeks you have together at the start.
Everyone is unique and beautiful. We all need support from time to time, taking pleasure in the small things in life helps. It may be holding, tasting and smelling a warm hot chocolate, being under a lovely soft blanket watching your favourite film. Arts & crafts, singing, music, a good book and gardening are just some things people find helpful.
Everyone is different and finding your smile is the important thing. A quote by William Londen “To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness and maintain an interest in life.”