We all know that mental health issues are on the rise. According to the World Heath Organisation (WHO) mental health is the leading cause of disability worldwide, it is the biggest killer of men until 45 in the UK and second leading cause of death in people aged between 15 – 29. These stats are simply shocking and there seems to be little improvement! So the question has to be asked…….why?
How is Mental Health dealt with?
Throughout history, mental health has been approached in a variety of ways. The ancient philosophers believed that your mental health symptoms were a sign of a physical imbalance in the body somewhere and that this could lead to them solving the problem (the ancient Greek’s for example believed that low mood and depression were a sign that the individual had an imbalance of black bile).
As the ages progressed, so did the ideas! Theorists and psychologists developed ideas that maybe the body wasn’t the problem… maybe it was the mind! Once this idea was established countless studies and research have been carried out to work out how best to ‘fix’ the sufferer of mental health. From using electricity, dream interpretation, delving into the past, herbal remedies, drugs, talking therapy all of these things have got one thing in common. Can you spot it? – How to FIX the SYMPTOMS and make the person feel better.
Today we have drugs that can boost the level of hormones in your brain to make you FEEL BETTER. Counselling and therapies have continued to develop from those historical ideas and theories and look at better ways to fix the problem and improve people’s symptoms. Medical professionals continue to explore and test and find out what why people suffer from mental health issues, they create diagnoses and labels relating to different symptoms. So why are things getting worse?
You might say that with knowledge and understanding we recognise the symptoms better than we used and that makes the problem seem worse. Maybe it’s that the world we live is a more difficult place and people just can’t cope. Perhaps it’s that is more acceptable to talk about it and seek help these days.
But what if it’s because we are looking at mental health the wrong way?
The systems that we have in place are built on a created from ideas and theories from the past with the focus on what is wrong with a person and how to we fix it? But what if there is actually nothing WRONG with the person?
Time for change
Henry Ford (the inventor of the motor car) once gave a brilliant quote…
‘if we had asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses’
Many of the treatments out there are the faster horses version of historical ideas. How to make people FEEL better and reduce their symptoms. But what if the best thing was to have a completely new approach? What is we needed a motor car rather than horses in the mental health world?
This is where The Thrive Programme comes in. It doesn’t look at what is WRONG with people and how to put it right. It’s not even about relieving their symptoms! It’s about looking at what is right and how to get people there. Imagine baking a cake – you know what a great cake should look like, you know how it should taste. You know that if you have 100g of flour, an egg, 100g sugar, 100g of butter mixed and you bake it for 20 minutes you are going to get that cake right? If these ingredients are wrong then our cake will be wrong!
What if this is true for being mentally healthy. What if we knew the ingredients! Just like a cake, if the ingredients for strong mental health link to the way that you think, the beliefs you hold and the level of control you feel you have over your life are wrong… Then your outlook would be all wrong and you wouldn’t feel the way you would like.
Thrive isn’t about fixing people and making them feel a bit better. Thriving is about having all the right skills and components (ingredients) for making people feel like the best version of themselves! We teach people how to have strong psychological foundations, how to develop coping skills, helpful thinking and control over their thoughts and emotions. We don’t start with ‘what is wrong’, we start with ‘what is right’ and then we teach people how to get there. If people are Thriving, then they simply CAN’T be struggling.
Want to know more?
If you would like to find out more about The Thrive Programme and how you can learn to Thrive then please get in touch with one our fully licensed Thrive Consultants HERE.
Written by Thrive Consultant Abi Twomlow ATPC. Originally published here.