Time to Talk day February 1st

It’s easy to think there’s no right place to talk about mental health. But the more we talk about it, the more we can challenge stigma and discrimination and bring hope.

Mental health problems affects one in four of us yet people are still afraid to talk about it.  For people with mental health problems not being able to talk about it can be one of the worst parts of the illness. So by getting people talking about mental health we can break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.

In the UK in 2016 there were 6,188 suicides and that’s 6,188 more deaths than there should have been. Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in the UK, with those over 45 at greatest risk. This ultimately shows us the need for support, the need to challenge stigma around mental health and that starts by talking.

Too many people right now who are struggling with their mental health are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives…..and ultimately SAVE LIVES.

Why not make a pledge with yourself to start new conversations this Time to Talk day? You may be saving someone’s life.

 

‘Brew’ Monday

We have taken inspiration from Samaritans who are calling for blue Monday to now be ‘brew Monday’!

Blue Monday is said to be ‘the most difficult day of the year’ so let’s come together and change that. Meet a friend for a brew, in town or even at home. And let’s spend this Monday surrounded by people we care about and people who make us smile!

A cup of tea at the right time may be all it takes in saving a life. So pop the kettle on!!

Thank you!

A huge thank you for the amazing support for #CheerForGood #HarmlessUK Starbucks campaign so far!

This is part of the #CheerForGood campaign partnership between Neighbourly and Starbucks, supporting local community organisations. There are 120 charities across the UK competing for 2K. The top 30 charities who #Cheer the loudest will win!

For a small charitable organisation (only 16 of us!) this is a HUGE amount of money. For an idea how huge… £25 is the cost of one therapeutic session that could save someone’s life.

To help us win please like, share, post, re tweet, Tweet and comment! Any social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and  Neighbourly will increase our cheer score!

The more people supporting us the more lives are saved. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!

Children’s grief awareness week

This week has been Children’s grief awareness week, which runs from 16th to 22nd November

It is estimated that 1 in 29 children and young people in school have been bereaved by a parent of sibling. The Childhood Bereavement Network estimates that over 100 children are bereaved of a mum or dad each day.

We understand that bereavement by suicide is unlike any other type of bereavement, and we do not want anyone to feel alone or like there is no one to turn to for help.

The Tomorrow Project offer support to those that may be in suicide crisis and those that have been bereaved and affected by suicide. No matter what age, we can help

The Tomorrow Project will be here, for those bereaved and affected by suicide, when and as you need us.

#yourenotalone

bereavement@tomorrowproject.org.uk

0115 880 0280

 

 

 

Send a card, Save a life.

Harmless’ Christmas Cards are now on sale!

Help support vital self harm and suicide prevention services by sending a festive card this holiday season!

Send a card, save a life!

Premium quality cards come in packs of 8 with 2 designs and self seal envelopes

All the money raised will go directly towards supporting the ongoing work of Harmless and The Tomorrow Project and saving lives.

Buy yours in our online store: www.harmless.org.uk/store/Christmas-cards 

In the media: How shame can take a toll on your emotional health

The June 2015 cover of Women’s Health magazine featured a slender Gwyneth Paltrow and the words “BIKINI BODY In 2 Weeks! Tight Butt, Lean Legs, These Abs!” with an arrow pointing to Paltrow’s washboard middle. Covers like these have drawn their share of criticism. The idiom “bikini body” suggests there is only one kind of person who can fit into a bikini. It’s an example of body shaming.

That term can be imprecise. What exactly is shame anyway? And can we cope with it?

Author and academic Jennifer Jacquet defines the concept in her book “Is Shame Necessary?”: “Shaming, which is separate from feeling ashamed, is a form of punishment, and like all punishment, it is used to enforce norms.”

Stray from society’s expectations and risk being shamed. Jacquet notes that shame differs from guilt because, in “contrast to shame, which aims to hold individuals to the group standard, guilt’s role is to hold individuals to their own standards.” Sometimes shame can be healthy. Sometimes it can be harmful. Its value is a function of the norm being enforced.

If we demean a friend, it is reasonable for us to feel ashamed—we violated the norm of decency. As psychologist Brené Brown said in a TED talk, “We’re pretty sure that the only people who don’t experience shame are people who have no capacity for connection or empathy.”

Shame becomes harmful if it’s used to enforce an unhealthy norm, and there is no shortage of unhealthy norms. Type, “I feel ashamed of my” into Google, and the search engine will autocomplete with “body,” “job,” “past,” or “sexuality.”

Brown explained that unhealthy norms tend to be gendered—to conform to female norms, she said, women must be “nice, thin, modest, and use all available resources for appearance.” For men, it’s more simple: avoid acting weak. Men are expected to control their emotions, prioritize work, and pursue status. We are prone to feeling ashamed when we stray from these norms.

Shame can be most harmful when it becomes internalized; when it shifts from being about what we’ve done to being about who we are. Psychologists refer to “toxic shame.” as the feeling that we are wholly inadequate and fundamentally unworthy of love. [Editor’s note: when I feel like this, I turn to the Self-Esteem pack. It helps.]

Toxic shame can take a huge toll on our emotional health. “Shame is highly, highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders,” Brown says. The antidote to feeling shame is a willingness to be vulnerable, Brown says. To be human is to be imperfect— to have scars and stretch marks, and to cry when sad or afraid.

Brown suggests we seek the empathy of friends and loved ones. “If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment,” she explains. “If you put the same amount in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.” Importantly, people also can work to change harmful norms. In a 2015 online survey, Women’s Health asked readers what words or phrases they might avoid printing on the magazine’s cover. Options included “slim,” “lean,” and “bikini body.” Respondents overwhelmingly objected to “bikini body.”

In a sense, readers chose to enforce a new norm. In their determination, the magazine should encourage health, fitness, and a positive body image. Wrote one reader, “I hate how women’s magazines emphasize being skinny or wearing bikinis as the reason to be healthy.”

In an open letter responding to the survey, editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird said the term “bikini body” would be banned from the magazine’s cover. “Dear ‘Bikini Body,’” she wrote. “You’re actually a misnomer, not to mention an unintentional insult: You imply that a body must be a certain size in order to wear a two-piece. Any body—every body—is a bikini body.”

Link to full blog: https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/11/02/shame-emotional-health/

In the news: The rise of mental health in hip-hop lyrics

Hip-hop is having a watershed moment for mental health. In the last two years, some of the biggest rappers have peeled back the curtain on their personal lives to shine a light on their struggles with mental health issues.

Take Kanye West’s album “The Life of Pablo”, where he mentions both seeing a psychiatrist and taking Lexapro, an antidepressant used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Or Kid Cudi, who publicly announced he’d checked into rehab for depression and suicidal urges, writing that “anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember and I never leave the house because of it.” Even rap veteran Jay-Z has advocated the importance of therapy in recent months.

In the midst of hip-hop’s dive into mental health awareness, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many mainstream artists have also opened up about practicing meditation. Big Sean, Vic Mensa, Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, J. Cole, and Drake, to name a few, have credited meditation as impacting areas of their lives and creative output. And, of course, Def Jam Recordings label founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons attribute much of their success to meditation.

“[T]he person I am was shaped by the experience of the years of meditation,” says Rubin, who produced albums for everyone from Beastie Boys to Kanye. “I feel like I can see deeply into things in a way that many of the people around me don’t, or can’t.”

“Meditation is a guaranteed way to not only dip into, but stay connected with, your creative spirit,” echoes Simmons. “People have this misconception that meditation will chill you out and make you soft, but the opposite is true. I meditate every morning when I wake up and almost the second my session is over I’m eager to tackle whatever is on my plate for that day.”

But perhaps the rap game’s biggest meditation advocate is one that currently holds the title as Greatest Rapper Alive: Kendrick Lamar.

Kendrick has plugged meditation on four (!) of his tracks. Take these lyrics from “untitled 03 | 05.28.2013”:

Meditation is a must, it don’t hurt if you try
See you thinking too much, plus you too full of yourself
Worried about your career, you ever think of your health?

In a 2016 interview for GQ Style, Kendrick elaborates on his meditation routine:

“I have to have at least 30 minutes to myself,” he says. “If it’s not on the daily, every other day, to just sit back, close my eyes, and absorb what’s going on. You know, the space that I’m in [and] how I’m feeling at the moment.”

Kendrick cites the frenetic busyness of his career as a motivator to practice being more present. “When you in music—and everybody knows this—the years are always cut in half, because you always have something to do,” he says. “It just goes and then you miss out on your moment because you’re so in the moment you didn’t know the moment was going on.”

After realizing that music was consuming his thoughts and attention, Kendrick turned to meditation for time and space away from his work: “That 30 minutes helps me to totally zone out and not think about my next lyric. You know? It gives me a re-start, a jump start, a refresh. It lets me know why I’m here, doing what I’m doing.”

Competition is ingrained in hip-hop’s DNA; there’s tremendous pressure to claim the “best rapper alive” throne by breaking the mold on verbal gymnastics, pushing artistic boundaries, and resonating with audiences through culture and emotion. Slap on deadlines from record labels, plus scrutiny and sensationalism from the public eye—it’s a paralyzing weight for anyone to endure.

“There’s a great deal of bullshit that people think about when they make music, things that don’t matter,” Rubin says. “[Meditation] kind of wipes that away, and you focus on the real job at hand, as opposed to thinking about what the management wants, or what the record company’s saying, or what somebody at a radio station might think.”

While the dusty notion that hip-hop is all about cars, money, and clothes may still ring true for certain acts, there’s no denying that the genre has evolved. By unmasking both the stigmas attached to mental health issues and stereotypes about meditation, the rap game is well set up for a healthier and happier road ahead—for artists and fans alike.

Link to full blog here: https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/10/13/mental-health-hip-hop/

#imlistening

Suicide is the 2nd leading global killer of 15-29 year olds and in the uk is the leading cause of death for men under 45. Together we can change that.

Together we can save lives but we have to keep talking and we have to be willing to help.

Two years ago we ran a campaign to try and get people talking abut suicide. It ran for a short while and then stopped.

The best help for anyone feeling suicidal or in distress in any way is to talk and be heard.

We’re relaunching the campaign. Please share and let people know #Imlistening

Please repost to show your support and let people know that we can help.

Www.tomorrowproject.org.uk

https://m.facebook.com/harmlessthetomorrowproject/

#imlistening

Suicide is the 2nd leading global killer of 15-29 year olds and in the uk is the leading cause of death for men under 45. Together we can change that.

Together we can save lives but we have to keep talking and we have to be willing to help.

Two years ago we ran a campaign to try and get people talking abut suicide. It ran for a short while and then stopped.

The best help for anyone feeling suicidal or in distress in any way is to talk and be heard.

We’re relaunching the campaign. Please share and let people know #Imlistening

Please repost to show your support and let people know that we can help.

Www.tomorrowproject.org.uk

https://m.facebook.com/harmlessthetomorrowproject/

#imlistening

Suicide is the 2nd leading global killer of 15-29 year olds and in the uk is the leading cause of death for men under 45. Together we can change that.

Together we can save lives but we have to keep talking and we have to be willing to help.

Two years ago we ran a campaign to try and get people talking abut suicide. It ran for a short while and then stopped.

The best help for anyone feeling suicidal or in distress in any way is to talk and be heard.

We’re relaunching the campaign. Please share and let people know #Imlistening

Please repost to show your support and let people know that we can help.

Www.tomorrowproject.org.uk

https://m.facebook.com/harmlessthetomorrowproject/