I’ve been following Sanctus for a little while now, and have been deeply inspired by everything that they stand for. Their mission is to be the “Nike of mental fitness” and I think this is just bloody brilliant! We should all be focusing on our mental health as much as our physical health and I think we NEED work like what the people at Sanctus are doing to help enforce us to change our perception even further.
The stigma that surrounds mental health is improving (lessening!) day by day. I think it is safe to say that those in younger generations feel much more encouraged to open up about their mental health than perhaps those in an older generation, for which there are many reasons! Having said this, not EVERYONE feels that they are able to open up. There is still an air of vulnerability in discussing how we truly feel, even with friends and family. And that is what has to change.
On Wednesday 29th November I joined Sanctus for an afternoon being almost blown off London Bridge in harsh (okay, not that harsh) weather conditions to get a better picture on what the general perception of mental health really is.
This was quite a nerve-wracking experience for myself. The prospect of approaching strangers on the street didn’t sit too comfortably with me, but the importance of gaining this wider perspective on what is really going on in the world of our mental health was so important to me that I just couldn’t resist giving an hour or so of my time to push myself out of my comfort zone.
We were asking people questions relating to the “perception of mental health”. This included their own perception, how they think others might view them if they were to open up, how comfortable they feel about opening up in the workplace, is admitting to a mental health struggle seen as weak? And a few more too! The variance in response to these questions was HUGE.
Some were very willing to share with us that they have no qualms about opening up, and had a very healthy attitude towards mental health as a whole. There were some, however, who indicated a difference in workplaces and how where you work might affect your ability to open up, there were some who said that they felt incredibly vulnerable in opening up and wouldn’t dream of doing so… and then there was the lady who denied having any mental health at all!
(If you follow Sanctus you’ll know that we do, in fact, ALL have mental health.. and to deny having ANY mental health is just plain silly. In their words, “we are all on a spectrum”!).
The video of questions and responses will be out sometime next week. But in the meantime I highly encourage any and all of you who have a spare moment to take a look at their website and what they do. www.sanctus.io