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Culture is a blend of interactions between people (dynamics) and the environment they inhabit (systems).

Changes in either can impact the culture; the way of being with each other.

When it comes to mental health, we are changing the dynamics purely by talking about mental health so much more and in positive ways. The more we talk about mental health the more we create a mental health culture. This can only be a good thing. Even when it is done in criticism or judgement it creates debate and the energy needed for change.

 

Where systems are concerned these can be much harder to change but it is happening. In many workplaces new ways of working are being implemented. Mental health awareness sessions are being run, mental health first aiders are more common, providers of employee assistance programmes and access to therapy through private medical benefits are getting much better. Some organisations are understanding the care pathways needed to support people and albeit uncomfortable, they are having conversations and approaching things differently. It takes a lot to change the ways we've always done things.

 

These workplace evolutions of course are not available to everyone in work or those not in the workplace.

Access to mental health support outside of work is still very hard to come by. Waiting lists are often long, services are often complex to navigate, support can be limited in quality and/or the number of sessions. Privately it is costly and takes time to find the right person and/or approach that works for you. Conversations with friends and family may also be difficult, prone to judgement or dismissal, and also a world of wonderful possibilities to learn and change.

 

If we want to change things we need to talk about them, debate them and remain curious to other perspectives. Mental Health Culture. 

Representing those who campaign for, work for, or simply hope for a world with better treatment for those experiencing or who have experienced mental ill health

©2018 by Association of Mental Health Advocates.