There’s a wealth of mental health resources out there!
Mental health can feel a daunting and frightening topic whether you’re trying to make sense of your own issue, or supporting someone else on their journey. If it’s the latter, you’ll still learn that looking after your own mental health and wellbeing is top priority. One way to start gaining a sense of control is to discover the ever increasing range of mental health resources, with new books, articles and videos appearing every day. You’ll find plenty online and at your local library, and even in charity bookshops, there’s nothing I like more than to explore a real live book on a train!
Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig & Cheer up love by Susan Calman
These are both informative and very readable personal journeys to better understand how depression and anxiety can be experienced, including useful resources and helpful insights, with warmth and humour along the way. If you’re experiencing mental health issues yourself, it’s a chance to feel you’re part of something bigger and not alone. If you’re trying to understand how to better support someone they both make it clear what helps and what absolutely doesn’t whilst recognising that someone’s good intent to support is what ultimately matters, however clumsy the delivery.
You don’t have to be famous to have manic depression by Jeremy Thomas and Dr Tony Hughes
Discover how Jeremy has experienced life with the extreme ups and downs of manic depression (bi-polar), through fascinating conversations with his psychiatrist and now friend Tony. It also includes an A-Z guide to good mental health and other people’s experiences. Further great resources can be found at his engaging website and he’s particularly ‘in my good books’, excuse the pun, as he’s very happy for me to use extracts of his books in my training sessions and was very personable when I contacted him. Jeremy Thomas resources
Here’s a nice summary of how manic phase of bi-polar means to him:
Your many middle names are ‘Mega confident’, ‘multiple schemes’ and ‘impetuous’. You want 3 red Alpha Romeos for yourself, your wife and your secret girlfriend… meanwhile there’s a tiny little voice squeaking ‘you haven’t got the money’. But a much bigger voice is going, ‘Well of course you’ve got the money, because that deal is coming off soon, then there’s that one in America…’
The hairy arsed builder’s guide to stress management – a DIY guide with a difference by Dave Lee
This the kind of down-to-earth unexpected gem of a book I love to come across. I met Dave at a Safety & Health conference and he’s got sound advice on how we can change our thinking to change our lives. You’ll find him very active on LinkedIn, keen to challenge any narrow thinking that simply medicalises mental health and keeps people in a diagnosis box.
Sane new world and a Mindfulness guide for the frazzled – two books by Ruby Wax
In these two books, she mixes science of the brain with no-nonsense humour and blatantly honest accounts of her personal journey to manage her mental health issues. She’s a firm advocate of the benefits of mindfulness and being a perfectionist went to study Mindfulness-based Cognitive therapy at Oxford University, so she knows what she’s talking about.
The bridge between suicide and life – TED talk
Sergeant Kevin Briggs shares stories from those he’s spoken, and listened to, standing on the edge of life, and delivers the powerful message in support of non-judgmental listening.
The Power of vulnerability – TED Talk
Since we’re on the topic of TED Talks, if you haven’t come across this one by Brene Brown it’s well worth investing 20 minutes. It’s a funny, poignant exploration of human connection, and why showing vulnerability is such a courageous and powerful move.
OCD an actor’s tale – TV programme
Actor Ian Puleston-Davies speaks about his OCD, mental health’s most misunderstood and hidden condition, and explores its impact on individuals’ lives and families. OCD an actor’s tale
I also saw his talk, or should I say, powerful re-enactment of his OCD, at a mental health conference where he demonstrated the complexities for him of a ‘simple’ act of sitting down.
The man who couldn’t stop by David Adam
Still on the topic of OCD, if you’d like to dive further into ‘the darkest corners of our mind’, read David Adam’s scientific, historical and personal account.
There are some great specialist websites such as Anxiety UK that complement the solid and wide-ranging information provided by MIND that has numerous resources for the individual, employee and employer. In addition to their free information, Anxiety UK has the option to upgrade to an annual subscription. For £30 you get access to extra support tools including Headspace (normally Headspace costs £60 for the full package).
The reason I like the Headspace app and website is that it’s such a low key and accessible introduction to mindfulness and, to be honest, I like Andy’s voice, as in it doesn’t annoy me! You can get ten free sessions ‘Take 10’ which you can keep, though I decided to upgrade where there are so many packs including Pain management, Sleep, Stress as well as depression and anxiety. I find that ten minutes a day (or being more honest, every few days) has been beneficial in building resilience and accepting life’s ups and downs.
Stress and resilience – The upside of stress – TED talk and book
Kelly McGonigal shares some fascinating research into resilience and that just by learning how to change our attitude to stress, we can actually get good at it and reduce the negative!
In her introduction she states:
It’s easy for people to see how embracing the small stress – some pressure at work, a little nervousness about a major event- could help. But what about the big stuff? Does the concept of embracing stress apply to trauma, loss, health problems, and chronic stress?…Why would seeing the good in stress help in these circumstances? …embracing stress changes how you think about yourself and what you can handle.
All in the Mind’ on Radio 4
This is a thirty- minute radio show that explores the limits and potential of the human mind slots, with up-to-date research and contributions from both professionals and those with lived experience. All in the mind
I am 1 in 4 – mental health resources and blogging platform
This platform is rich in resources and gives those who experience mental illness a voice and seeks to reduce the stigma endured by so many I am 1 in 4
Here’s a useful little video No shame in taking medication by Tom who founded it and runs it in his ‘free time’, whilst working full-time and bringing up a family!
F*ck Feelings – book by Michael l. Bennett, MD and Sarah Bennett
I was going to add this with the rest of the books earlier but it’s a dose of brutal reality and a few profanities (but not too many) so it might be better placed here! Despite its title the authors do, of course, believe in feelings, it’s just we need to be realistic about what’s in our control, and what isn’t. The book covers a wide range of day-to-day stuff such as communication, relationships at work and home and parenting to how to standing up to bullies, supporting an addict and handling trauma. Regardless of the severity of the issue the formula includes details on:
- What you wish for and can’t have
- What you can aim for and actually achieve
- Here’s how you can do it
Here’s a snippet from the introduction:
If you’re willing to accept what you can’t change, we have many positive suggestions for improving the way you manage the sh*t on your plate – beginning with not wasting time repeating what hasn’t been working.
What about you? What mental health resources have you found helpful?
I’m always interested to hear of others and am sure I’ll be adding more. Let me know your thoughts below, on LinkedIn or email me firstname.lastname@example.org