Welcome to Episode 6 of the Mental Health Matters podcast on Phoenix FM. You can listen to the whole episode here:
First of all it was lovely to speak to Phoenix FM’s own Chris Hood, who also works for Fitness In Mind at the Brentwood Centre in Essex. It is an initiative designed to promote, encourage and provide physical activity as an aid to mental wellbeing.
Chris enjoyed being on the other side of the microphone for a change, receiving questions and describing the services they’re able to provide. We spoke of their origin, funding and how successful the scheme has been in helping people out of difficult circumstances and isolation.
We were able to hear a success story first hand, because joining Chris to share her experience of how it works was Evie. She spoke enthusiastically of how she was able to come from a low point after a breakdown and never consider entering a gym or class, to now enjoying them and feeling positive of her progress. In fact, she is so positive about her experiences and is able to describe it so well, that it is clear she would be a great ambassador for the initiative.
As well of the benefits of physical exercise and the feeling of achievement of completing a course, one of the main benefits I picked up on was the feeling of community that develops when people come together with shared experiences and goals. There is soon a comfort and strength in numbers and camaraderie that continues after the course finishes. I’ve spoken about this on previous episodes of the podcast, where isolation is more common in our society, surely a major cause of mental health issues. Living in a small community, or ‘tribe’ is something I advocate and I certainly have felt better since bringing myself out of isolation and once again returning to circles of friends once again.
Here is their website where you can learn more and also find out how to register for the next 12 week course in April:
A bit like the isolation I mentioned above, issues in relationships have a major effect on our mental wellbeing. I know from my own experience of how upset, even distraught I have felt in moments after a break up, or the heartache that can come from the yearnings for that someone special you wish to be with. I also see it around me, with those my age feeling similar yearnings as they continue to get older and don’t have that special someone they’d like by their side. Or conversely, have had relationships or marriages broken up, perhaps after many years, with the trauma and loss that can bring.
Steve’s coaching work helps people through these problems. A lot of it is based around changing our perspective, focussing on what we want to create in our lives, such as love, joy, happiness and success.
I was able to record an online conversation with Steve and his UK based colleague Dan Dore, who both wonderfully described what they do and how they are able to help. It was also a big turning point for me, because it meant I had to be more honest and open ‘on the air’ than I have been in the past. Since starting this podcast, and indeed at other times on my other Musical Meanderings music show, there have been limits to what I’ve shared of my own experiences or things personal to me. But to help illustrate points for Steve and Dan to describe their work, I provided specific examples of issues I have been having with relationships- in finding them and maintaining them. Indeed, also why I was focussed on that on not other areas of my life. I found it very healing and has already helped me in my work and removed a restriction in communicating and sharing.
The topics that we covered include how important it is to realise that you’re ok right in this moment, how expectations can build in resentments in relationships and examples of their coaching, such as where they encourage writing and describing your guiding principles and values you have and want to create in your life.
Find out more on their website:
And here is Steve’s YouTube channel where I discovered him:
Also, here is where you can find Steve’s book that he mentions during our conversation. It has great results on its own and often helps people enough to not even need the coaching:
Here is the article mentioned in the mental health news:
Here are the songs played:
Sarah McLachlan – In the arms of an angel (Surfacing – 1997)
Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You (Blue – 1971)
Let us know what you think of the show
Facebook: Search “Mental Health Matters on Phoenix FM”
• Brentwood Mind 01277 234246 or brentwoodmind.org.uk
• Mind 0300 123 3393, text 86463 or Mind.org.uk
• Samaritans Free on 116 123 , e-mail: email@example.com or Samaritans.org
• SANE 0300 304 7000 (6-11pm every evening) or Sane.org.uk
• Elefriends (MH Support Forum) – elefriends.org.uk
• Rethink Mental Illness website (for factsheets/blogs etc) : rethink.org
• Parents Helpline: Call: 0808 802 5544 or www.youngminds.org.uk
(Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm, free from mobiles & landlines)
• The Silverline – 0800 4 70 80 90 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or thesilverline.org.uk
• The CALMzone (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
(5pm-midnight every evening)
• 0808 802 5858 if you’re in London
• or call 0800 58 58 58 Nationwide or thecalmzone.net