I don’t think that anyone would argue with the idea that prevention is better than cure. Similarly, I’m pretty sure that most people would agree that being in a ‘good place’ emotionally makes life easier.
So why don’t we do more to protect our mental health?
Feeling emotionally stable makes everything more manageable – it endows you with the capacity to more easily tolerate & soothe whiney toddlers; it provides you with the emotional resilience to handle difficult bosses or meet tight, impending deadlines and it helps you to create and maintain the kind of flexible mindset that allows you to experience life’s ‘split milk’ as something that can be stepped over (rather than cried over.)
Why, then, aren’t mental health check-ups as common as dental or eye check ups?
Having your ’emotional shit’ together can take the edge off all manner of unpleasant challenges, and transform the impossible into admittedly difficult – but totally deal-able – prospects.
Good mental health sounds like it might be worth proactively maintaining, right?
Becasue poor mental health can take the shine of the best day ever. Depression & anxiety tend to slam the door on your capacity to hope, catch in your throat, make you feel sick to your stomach, weigh heavily on your chest and, if left unchecked, they can royally screw up your life, taking an horrendous toll on your:
Physical health – Relationships – Career – Finances
In short, poor mental health sucks.
Despite all these undeniable up sides to having good mental health, and all the obvious down sides to having poor mental health – one in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do! As a nation we do not appear to be taking our mental health seriously. The NHS is woefully underfunded, under-resourced and has waiting lists months long which will eventually deliver you to therapeutic solutions that are rarely helpful or made available for long enough.
“You’re a therapist in private practice, Ali, so why do you care?” Yeah, ok. I get that. Good question.
Why would a therapist want to prevent poor mental health?
I understand why you might think that I, being a therapist, would be cool with a lack of mental health loss prevention. I mean, depression, anxiety and bereavement are my bread and butter, right? Yes. It’s true. Therapy definitely helps to manage and resolve mental health issues. And therapy is what I do.
But good therapy, that delivers real, lasting change takes time. The longer you let your mental health decline, the longer it takes to recover. Not everyone has the time or money to spend to do the work necessary for real change and lasting recovery. The fact is, while I love what I do, in all its forms, I would far rather spend my time helping people to learn how to avoid getting into an emotional hole, than spend all my time helping them to pull themselves out of one because they didn’t realise preventing mental health decline was actually possible.
So I have to ask, if given the choice, who would want to get into the situation where therapy is what you need?
Prevention is better than cure – and that’s why you need Mental Health MOTs
You service your car, vet-check your pets, mammogram your boobs, scan your PC for viruses, open wide for the dentist, get a nurse to scrape your cervix/check your prostate – all in the name of protecting our bodies & possessions by preventing their decline.
Very sensible, right?
But what about your mental health?
Be honest. When you’re going through something tough for a few weeks or months, do you try to ‘tough it out’ or do you pop in for a few therapy sessions?
Come on, you know what you do. Chances are you wait until you’re approaching full emotional breakdown, until your career’s tanking, your relationship’s on the rocks and your hearts in your boots, before you even think of seeking therapy.
It doesn’t’ have to be this way – get a check up from the neck up – Mental Health MOTs
What if, instead, you just took yourself and your feelings for a regular check-up?
The Mental Health MOT is designed to give the opportunity to check-in with a friendly therapist (me!) from time to time to prevent emotional unravelling and so that long-term therapy becomes a less likely necessity and you get to go on feeling tickety-boo (whatever that feels like!)
What happens in a Mental Health MOT?
In this 90 minute session we do a mental health check designed to see where you’re ‘at’ now, how you got here, identify strengths you can build on & highlight potentially problematic, unconscious patterns you may still be living, so you can ‘nip them in the bud.’
I will teach you my 3 Essential Steps for Mental Health Maintenance, which help you to create thinking space between an experience or feeling and your reaction. These steps allow you become more intentional in your actions and much less reactive. If you practice those steps, you will be better able to create a happier, more satisfying life and be MUCH less likely to need to go to regular, weekly therapy.
How often should I go for a Mental Health MOT?
I’d recommend coming for a Mental Health MOT at least once or twice a year, but what you do is up to you! You can come annually, six monthly or just when you notice things are starting to spiral.
Where do I book in for a Mental Health MOT?
You can book one here, whenever you want.
Or if you’d like a spot of therapy, you can book your free chat here.
Just please don’t struggle on and let things get worse, because left untreated, that’s what’s likely to happen and you deserve to have a happy and satisfying life!