#MHAW17 What more can be done? Part 1

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 and my thoughts are preoccupied with what else can be done to improve my own mental wellbeing, and that of my children and partner.

That’s my inner circle, the top rung on my priority ladder. And yet I’m still stumped most days for ideas, and I’m wondering where to look to find information that can make a real difference. Not just information though, practical ideas, initiatives, activities too, that will assist with freeing up the social anxieties that some of my family members have to contend with, myself included.

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Since the beginning of the year, when I attended a one day Women’s Adventure Expo workshop “Create Your Own Adventure Brand” at the Create Centre in Bristol, ideas have been stewing which could help answer my own queries of “what more can be done?”, but have been delayed in being processed seriously due to one family crises or another. I think now is the time to start sharing those ideas…

Storytelling

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” —Robert McKee

Telling stories has long been hailed as the most effective method of learning, passing down information from one generation to the next. We listen to stories, and tell them, because they are an essential part of our humanity. Our languages and cultures have been cultivated on stories told, old and new. Stories have shaped our views of the world, and our understanding of our place in it.

At the WAExpo workshop in January, I attended a session with Sarah Williams of the Tough Girl Podcast. Sarah gave a seminar on the importance of building your brand with interactional methods, such as podcasting, which is effectively the radio on the internet with just the one episode at a time, not a continuous 24/7 churning of information. So podcast episodes could be thought of as chapters, each chapter telling a different story about the world around us.

How do podcasts work again?

Entrepreneurs Journey give a fabulous backstory to the still-growing podcast phenomenon, and where its name came from, but in summary here is the podcast explained in bitesize courtesy of Google Search:

podcasting

ˈpɒdkɑːstɪŋ/
noun
  1. the practice of using the Internet to make digital recordings of broadcasts available for downloading to a computer or mobile device.
    “for many, podcasting is a logical next step from blogging”

In addition, according to ThoughtCo.

Why do people tune in?

Podcasting attracts people who want the ability to choose their own content (much like using the Internet), instead of the TV and radio model of broadcast where you tune in and select from one of the programs playing.

Now, I’ve been listening to Sarah’s podcasts almost since they first aired, and it was her interview with Amy Hughes in 2015 that sparked the idea that I could run from one end of the country and back again to show that my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder didn’t mean the end of who I was: it was the beginning of the learning of who I truly am.

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That’s a powerful life changing moment from one podcast.

Almost two years later, and I’ve now acquired some equipment to begin my own podcasts. It was a bit of a move I needed to make in order to boldly step into the realm of spoken media, not an area I’ve previously experimented with, but I’m a firm believer in learning on the job. My former career gave me thousands of hours of interviewing experience, and written interviews have played a role in my writing habits for some time. So there’s enough there for me to feel fairly confident in taking this next step.

And with that step, I have laid out my thoughts on the themes I plan to focus on, what niche to pour over, dissect and display for all who lend an ear:

  • turning ideas into actionable movements
  • keeping mental wellbeing as the connecting element
  • overcoming adversity
  • reaching into every corner of human society

As a blog about mental health, it isn’t rocket science that the central topic involves mental wellbeing, but in this arena, I could well be interviewing a rocket scientist who discusses how they manage their own mental health. And that is pretty exciting!

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Mindcasting what now?

A definition for mindcasting has been submitted by CollinsEnglishDictionary on 28/01/2014 (approval status under review), and states the following:

mindcasting

Broadcasting what is on your mind via social media and blogs etc

The mashup between Fierce Mind, podcasting and mindcasting was always there to be enjoyed, but life has a funny way of helping you to connect the dots (which exist in plain sight) in your own time. So Fierce Mindcasting it is, a new series of podcasts discussing the journey of turning ideas into actionable movements, supporting our mental health in every corner of society, being broadcast across social media and in blogs.

Conversely, I’d be very interested if someone can name an area of society that doesn’t require mental health. Is there an exception?

What can you do?

Now here’s where you come in. We are all inextricably linked, the six degrees of separation isn’t so removed from the world being a global village. I have a number of folk on my list who will make great storytellers, from psychologists to business folk, mathematicians to artisans. But you might have someone to recommend, and if you do, just email me the details and I will do the follow up.

For example, consider “Who is in your top five mental health inspirational list?”

Over to you

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, so what do you have planned this week?

Small steps or bold changes? What more do you think can be done?

MHAW17-1

One thought on “#MHAW17 What more can be done? Part 1

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