Talking About Our Mental Health
From what we’ve seen over the last few years, the best way to change the perception of mental health is through storytelling.
Sanctus itself started as a blog post from James; there was no business idea or plan, but it grew out of a story.
Then, I essentially joined Sanctus off the back of having shared part of my story at their Mental Health in the Workplace event back in 2017.
So today, we want to share some of the most recent individual mental health stories that James and I have told that may resonate with you, your friends, your family or your employees.
So much content in the mental health industry is impersonal, cold, and so far removed from people’s actual lives and experiences.
It makes it unrelatable, and it often leaves people still desperately searching for answers online.
So the big thing that we’ve always held in mind when creating our content is “what do people really want to hear?” and “what do we really want to say?”
It’s led to us talking about some pretty varied topics and on the whole being vulnerable, raw and saying the things about mental health that often are not being said.
Strap yourself in, and enjoy ?
? James – Working at KFC ?
When I was younger, I worked at KFC.
When I started my first business, I had it on my LinkedIn, and another entrepreneur laughed at me and said I must remove it to be taken seriously.
I learned then that I “should” hide part of myself to be accepted.
That was the beginning of me hiding who I was to fit in.
Me sharing this story of working at KFC was part of me showing who I really am ?
It also got over 150,000 views on LinkedIn, so it definitely resonated.
? George – I’ve taken recreational drugs ?
I’ve taken recreational drugs, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.
I took them in a period of my life when I wanted to have fun, and that’s exactly what I did.
And yet, as I started to struggle with my mental health, I found myself relying more and more on drugs to escape my reality.
It left me in a pretty bad place, but what I believe to be true is that the culture of shame and stigmatism that we have around drugs was also part of the reason I got to that place.
I didn’t know that what I was doing was incredibly harmful to myself and my mental health until I could retrospectively look back on it a few years later.
Drugs aren’t spoken about enough, particularly in relation to mental health, and this is me doing just that?
❌ James – Suicide ❌
Suicide is not the biggest killer of men in the UK.
In fact, suicide isn’t the killer of anyone in the UK, or anywhere else in the world.
Suicide is the act and the method, it’s not a cause.
In this video I talk more about those causes and this video also really landed with over 100,000 views on LinkedIn.
? George – How to have good mental health 101 ?
✅ meditate 10 minutes a day every single day for the rest of your life
✅ get 8 hours sleep a night
✅ but also wake up before 4am for hot yoga
✅ be vegan
✅ but also have a balanced diet that includes meat
✅ go to therapy 8 days a week
✅ repent your sins
This is what it’s like trying to listen to every piece of advice & advice-giver on the internet.
It’s exhausting. It’s infuriating. It’s overwhelming.
Instead, you just need to find what works for you ?
? George – This is what depression can look like ?
This is a written post that I put together on LinkedIn which I’ll leave untouched…
“This is what depression can look like ?
I’m beardless ?
One of the “proudest days” of my life graduating, the sun was out, and my family were chuffed ?
We’d had a few glasses of the ol’ vino and me and my brother thought we’d have a lil’ pose ?
We were laughing and joking around all day ?
At face value you’d think I was loving it ?♂️
But this photo couldn’t do the place I was mentally in more misjustice ?♂️
This was one of my lowest points during my whole messy battle with mental health issues.
I was in such an awful place that I honestly felt no emotion walking up to get my degree, it meant absolutely nothing to me.
I felt such a burden that my parents were nothing but proud, and I was sat there racked with suicidal thoughts.
I felt incredibly guilty that all they wanted to talk about at lunch was what my career might look like, but I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever even be able to have one.
I just wanted to go home.
Depression isn’t always tears and head-clutching as the media will have you believe.
Sometimes it’s beaming smiles on some of the happiest days of your life.
Just because your mate is the loudest, happiest, funniest, most energetic person going, it doesn’t mean they can’t struggle.
That’s why we all need to keep talking ?
I hope that you find some of this content useful for you and others, and that you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed sharing it!
We’re not sharing this just for a shameless self-promotional plug, we know these stories give others permission to open up and share too. We also know that storytelling like this culturally normalises mental health.
There’s no reason why you can’t do this too. You don’t have to make a video or post on LinkedIn but you can share your story and you can be part of the mental health movement.
In the workplace especially we know that storytelling like this, from leaders in particular, is the best way to change the culture around mental health.
If you don’t want to share your story, that’s why we share ours. So feel free to share our videos and stories with anyone you wish. We’d love that ?
If you want to connect on LinkedIn, here we are: