Hey I’m Tabbie, the founder of Love Your Mind Online - a centralised mental health app that is coming out this Spring. At L.Y.M.O we have a vision to put an end to the stigma. We will do this by doing these 3 things - 1) Education about the complexities of mental health/illness. - 2) Opening up and encouraging conversations surrounding mental health/illness. - 3) Improving the accessibility model in relation to getting and receiving help for our mental health.
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU WERE TAUGHT AT SCHOOL ABOUT MENTAL WELLBEING AND WHY?
At school I wish we were taught more about the complexities of mental health / illness. The more educated we are on something, the less prejudice perspectives we have on it resulting in a reduction of the stigma. I remember in year 11 every Thursday morning I’d come in during the middle of a lesson at 11am due to having external counselling. Everyone knew I’d do this but thought it was because I had a physical health appointment every week at that time. I even remember multiple people asking and I’d always say ‘oh I just had an appointment’ because I truly feared the judgement of my friends if I were to say ‘well, I’m struggling with my mental health and am having counselling’ (this fear was due to the stigma). Looking back I just want to give that younger Tabbie a hug! I also wish school taught us how to look after our brain, how to manage stress, how to put our mental health first and the importance of doing so, how to help others and what we can all do to contribute to overcoming the stigma. I do understand that schools want students to get high grades for the benefit of the school’s reputation. But a student who is struggling with their mental health will find it super hard to achieve those grades. Whereas a student who is thriving mental health wise, will most likely find it easier as they can focus on their work instead of the all consuming battle in their mind. Prioritise students’ emotional and mental wellbeing, the grades will then follow!
ANY ADVICE TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE READING THIS?
Know that there as so many contributing factors when it comes to mental health such as nutrition, self-care (brain-care), genetics, chemical / hormone imbalances, environmental factors (such as work, bullying etc). Our mental health is something that needs to be looked after on a consistent basis, not just as a one off once a year. Self care should be a necessity in our daily routine, whether that is going for a walk with your dog, listening to your favourite podcast, meeting a friend for a picnic, doing your favourite hobby, journalling, reading, going to the gym, just anything that brings you joy/peace! Please remember that self care is brain care. Self care is not selfish, it allows you to recharge your own battery so that you have enough energy to help other recharge theirs! Also, I know you probably hear this all the time, but please seek help if you are struggling. Don’t wait until you think you are ‘sick enough’. Don’t put it off because ‘so and so is much more ill’ than you; it’s not a competition! You can drown in the sea and you can drown in a bath, both are in completely different environments and face different dangers yet you can drown in both. Please seek help.