I would like to present to you, today, Four Tiny Stories about Mental Health. People tell me their stories, a lot of people tell me their stories yet even today each story I hear is both, wonderous and unique. To be invited into someone's life, trusted with part of their inner world, capturing their moments of positive self reflection is both joyful and inspiring. Tiny Stories are little snapshots, moments in time, of conversation with strangers who become friends through the art of tea & story sharing. Below are four such Tiny Stories, my own reflections and inspirations about the extraordinary people I am grateful to meet. Most of these stories originate on my Journal Instagram page but can also be found on this website and Journal's Facebook page. I hope you find Tiny Stories interesting and if you have a Tiny Story or two to share, I welcome you to contact Journal.
Unicorns, pyjamas & Mental Health
STAR | Peer support Group | Blackpool | UK
Although I am presently in Mexico, I want to tell a little story about a group of people in Blackpool UK. You see they have made a big impact on me and my work. They are a group of wonderful and brave people who have suffered some of the worst levels of mental health. Labelled, categorised, controlled and their life stories ignored by the systems set up to help them. They have shown trust in me despite many let downs by other professionals and organisations. So what are they up to? Well, I will be telling their stories and be supporting their mission, ( more to be revealed soon). But for now, they are determined for their group to function outside the system as it makes them feel strong and well when the formal system stays out of the way. They want their stories heard, their voices respected and the system to sit up, listen and work with them for systems change. I have the honour of being trusted by this group, they are not going away, they are strong and here to stay x
Tea, story & dogs, lifting depression
Ahilje | Therapist | Saltzburg | Austria
This is Ahilje, a German living in Salzburg, Austria. She is a mother of 3, has a husband, an animal lover and drinker of tea. She dedicates her life to helping and healing people as a therapist. In 2014 she experienced multiple losses in her life and this caused a breakdown. She recovered by connecting with people and owes a lot of this to the unconditional love of her dogs. Her advice to those suffering depression is the solution to being well and feeling happy can be found in human connection, animal care and the drinking of tea while sharing a story, hopes ideas and dreams x
Mindfulness, Movement & Mental Health
Paul | CEO of GoGetYou Charity | Blackpool | UK
Paul is a man who is inspiringly open to discourse about his experiences of I'll health and mental health. After an extremely difficult childhood & trauma, subsequent unhelpful help from traditional mental health services, Paul discovered #mindfulness & #meditation. For Paul this worked, he took control of his mind and his life. Now living in #Blackpool, he is the founder of Three Leaves (registered #charity) delivering mindfulness, meditation and other health based workshops under his gogetyou project. He is focusing this year on the mental health and wellbeing of older adults. I admire people who give back there time, skills or knowledge to help those in their community
More Tiny Stories
20 of the most recent Tiny Stories Instagram posts
Changing attitudes one outfit at a time
Mark | STAR Group Member | Blackpool | UK
I so love our communities having people like Mark in them. You know that guy or that girl brightly coloured, dressed in the most original or period fashions. They are in my experience, always warm, kind loving and friendly. The downside though, is that sometimes they are misunderstood or cruelly labelled by others. Those others who often are repressed by their own fear-based story. The narrative that stops them from expressing themselves. There is always a story or two to go with people like Mark. If you heard their story, you would find your perception shifts to one of empathy and inspiration. You would see the story of an interesting, strong and courageous human being.
I have a lot of admiration, the kind that makes my heart fill with joy when I am around people like Mark. People who have survived so much and still consider how they can brighten up someone else's day. Mark wears his clothes like a suit of armour, like a superman cape they make him feel more confident to overcome in the world. He brings a smile to most peoples faces that encourage conversations just like the one I had with him on Tuesday.
Mark illustrates three very good points in regards to Mental Health and the art of living a considered and expressive life;-
1. It is of great value to our sense of self, our identity, our soul that we express in some form the real “me”
2. People often laugh at those whose stand out because they are less free in themselves
3. Mental Health Labels are less relevant when you listen deeply to another's story.