Being Okay

My column in today’s JEP looks at mental health provision and a few simple things to do if you’re ‘not OK’.

Would you like help with anxiety or depression? You can book a free, no-obligation Discovery Call here.

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This mentions a couple of Jersey’s institutions but the concepts apply to all.

Saturday saw this year’s World Mental Health Day; it came at a time when Islanders’ daily lives have changed considerably – socially, financially and emotionally – because of the pandemic.

Many people have suffered through loneliness, anxiety, isolation, financial difficulties and bereavement.

As the World Health Organisation says, ‘… it is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will substantially increase in the coming months and years.

That is why the goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health’.

Jersey’s mental health provision has long been underfunded. We have started making steps in the right direction with the upgrade to Orchard House, the Listening Lounge, Jersey Talking Therapies and the new Cris Prevention Service.

We still have a long way to go with provision for children.

We must not stop now because of the economic effects of the pandemic; in fact, investment in mental health programmes at a local level is now more important than it has ever been.

The thought of all that money wasted on finding a hospital site makes me shudder; how much difference could that have made if those funds had been invested into Jersey’s mental health services?

However, do know it’s okay to not be okay. Not being okay is part of life… but being stuck in ‘not okay ‘is not okay.

Jacqui Carrel

Doing some BEING OKAY exercises will help:

B – Believe you need help and believe that you are worth helping.

E – Eat well: cut right down on sugar and alcohol as they use up vital nutrients that you need to maintain good mental health.

I – Invest time in your mental health by exploring new pursuits such as meditation, a new hobby, researching and trying different therapies.

N – No! Learn to say it! Have boundaries and let your energies regroup before helping everyone else.

G – Grin, grimace and gurn! Yes, even if you are feeling awful, grin as widely as you can: you’ll increase feel-good endorphins – and burst out laughing if you really grimace and gurn at the mirror.

O – Open up to your feelings; instead of squashing feelings away, cry or say them out loud and they will begin to diminish.

K – Know who to contact; visit gov.je to view services or phone Mind Jersey (0800 7359404).

A – Allow people to see you are feeling down and allow them to help you.

Y – Yomp! Even a little exercise a day can help lift your mood.

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Jacqui Carrel treats people with stress, fears and depression. Would you like help? You can book a free, no-obligation Discovery Call with her here.

Jacqui wrote this piece for the Jersey Evening Post on 14 October 2020

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