Well­be­ing in Wok­ing­ham – a whole sys­tem ap­proach

The Wokingham Paper - - HEALTH - Ni­cola Strud­ley, works two days a week as the man­ager for Health­watch Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough. Opin­ions ex­pressed in this blog are her own

LAST month Health­watch spon­sored an event in Sindle­sham fo­cus­ing on well­be­ing in Wok­ing­ham. It was part of Brighter Berk­shire, a com­mu­nity-led and or­gan­ised year long ini­tia­tive which aims to help re­duce stigma about men­tal health and im­prove lo­cal op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The high­light of the event for me was not all the pam­per­ing but the fire­man that spoke pub­licly for the first time about his break­down and road to re­cov­ery.

Whilst many of us will worry about all the pres­sures we have on us – work stress, fi­nan­cial strain, fam­ily pres­sures – one in 20 of us will ex­pe­ri­ence a full blown ner­vous break­down which is de­scribed as a cri­sis sit­u­a­tion where we reach rock bot­tom and feel bro­ken, prevent­ing us from ceas­ing to func­tion in a nor­mal way.

There is no text­book ex­pe­ri­ence of a break­down, it is a gen­eral term that cap­tures some of the ex­pe­ri­ences. Peo­ple may feel in­creas­ingly hope­less about what they are do­ing, some peo­ple may ex­pe­ri­ence panic at­tacks, in­creased vul­ner­a­bil­ity, in­som­nia, para­noia or hal­lu­ci­na­tions. Then there comes a day where you can’t face getting out of bed or go­ing to work, nor­mal func­tion­ing is too much.

What struck me about the fire­man’s re­cov­ery was not the treat­ment he re­ceived from the

NHS, which con­sisted mainly of med­i­ca­tion and a num­ber of psy­chi­atric ad­mis­sions where amongst other ther­a­peu­tic ac­tiv­i­ties he was of­fered adult colour in! But how he had to take a dif­fer­ent view on life in or­der to live well.

He be­gan to look at his diet and what he was fuelling his body with. He started work­ing out to build his phys­i­cal strength, while not re­li­gious he de­vel­oped a sense of spir­i­tu­al­ity by do­ing mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion daily. De­vel­op­ing a pur­pose in life and a pas­sion was cru­cial to getting his mojo back. Getting his well-be­ing back is an ongoing, daily process of pri­ori­tis­ing what is im­por­tant. It is a way of life that re­quires com­mit­ment.

We can get so caught up in be­ing busy, par­tic­u­larly at this time of year, we of­ten fo­cus on things that in the long run are in­con­se­quen­tial. Why not make a new year’s res­o­lu­tion to your­self that will change your life?

Make a pact to lead your life in a way that is con­ducive to well-be­ing. En­sure you have looked af­ter your phys­i­cal body each day as well as your emo­tional state. Mind, the na­tional men­tal health char­ity, talk about five ways to well-be­ing – be ac­tive, learn, take no­tice, give, con­nect. I can per­son­ally rec­om­mend look­ing into the Ac­tion for Hap­pi­ness 10 Keys to Hap­pier Liv­ing.

I am de­lighted to say that Wok­ing­ham

Bor­ough Coun­cil and Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group are talk­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity of com­mis­sion­ing a Re­cov­ery Col­lege which is a more holis­tic model to sup­port those that need men­tal health sup­port. Watch this space!

Let Health­watch know your views. Get in touch:

Phone: 0118 418 1 418

Web­site: www.health­watch­wok­ing­ham.co.uk

App: Speak Up Wok­ing­ham (Free to down­load from Ap­ple or Google Play)

E-Mail: en­quiries@health­watch­wok­ing­ham.co.uk Face­book :@ health watch wok­ing­ham

Twit­ter: @HWWok­ing­ham

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