Head Talks is a non-profit charity that provides a safe space for people wanting to improve their mental wellbeing.
It’s a digital platform that’s very close to my heart. By watching videos and podcasts of people (some well-known, some professional) openly discuss their experiences of mental health through short talks, you are encouraged to seek support, find inspiration and be more knowledgeable.
My life was doused in depression around the age of 6. Back then I was unable to communicate; nobody educated me on the concept of illness within your mind.
I never quite knew why I would feel sudden bouts of sadness. I remember being anxious to greet strangers and was told that I needed to overcome my shyness.
My problems not being diagnosed and treated manifested to an eating disorder and low self-esteem. Again I struggled. I didn’t look like someone requiring help. It came across as a personality trait; naturally nervous and awkward.
My wake-up call came when I turned 24 and found myself not doing what I wanted, dreading my mornings and fearing that I was allowing my years to just pass me by.
The subject itself has garnered enough publicity. The Royal family released a campaign; celebrities have come forward to admit their battles. But it still feels a bit hush…
Mostly, while people are now aware of mental health, they still struggle to hold a conversation; they see that you are sad and choose to not speak.
Family have told me that it’s a “weakness”, I am not a “positive person” and judging by my short-time on earth, I have no clue on what “true depression” is.
On the opposite side, I am “too attractive”, “too young” and “have no real cause to be down”.
The Christmas season has significantly high rates of suicide. Not surprising, when beneath all the festive cheer, you are almost dictated to act merry and compete in buying excess commercialism.
And what I love about Head Talks, is that is allows you to feel okay. If you don’t have people understanding and if you feel afraid to share, here is an online world full of others who are relatable – regardless of what they do and where they are from.
If it was not for blogging, I most-likely would have lived my life writing and being published, without ever mentioning a huge part of my living. So to find another outlet is wonderful.
My favourite Head Talks and lessons on mental health
Your pain can help you really understand humans
Mim Shaik is BBC radio presenter. His mother suffers from mental health. He tells the story of being in high-school and walking home with his friends to witness his mum being put in a van to head to a day centre. His friends laughed and made remarks at school.
Mim mentions that going through this has given him empathy. He now understands humans more than most.
Although my teenage years were completely different, I think my pain has created strength. People routinely inform me that I have a great ability to give advice, and I believe it stems from knowing how to put myself in someone else’s shoes. And realising how powerful our minds are and that we cannot judge a person from what we have or haven’t been through.
Failure and success are merely outcomes, unfortunately they become attitudes
Ten years ago, Jamil was homeless on the streets of Nottingham. After his mother died, he decided he needed to change and chose to follow his passions.
Now a sports coach, Jamil believes in the power of our mindsets. I recommend this video to everyone who has drive and ambition. One of my favourites, I love that he reminds me that failure and success go hand-in-hand.
In addition, he explains that once we decide on something, we look for the evidence. For example, if you call yourself a failure, you will look for reasons why. Watch to the end and you will hear an incredible tip that will edit your entire viewpoint.
Take extra care of ourselves
Chloe is a hypnotherapist and author of “The Anxiety Solution”. She dealt with nearly 10 years of anxiety and panic attacks before finding help.
Anxiety is discussed less than depression in my opinion. I think it’s easy to forget that it is normal and many of us have battled anxiety in some form.
Instead of being angry or annoyed that I have these feelings, I should be taking care of myself and showing compassion. From the Head Talks videos, this is my most-needed reminder.
Good food has such a positive link on how we feel
Melissa is part of the lifestyle brand Hemsley + Hemsley, designed to nourish body, mind and spirit. They are the authors of two cookbooks.
I overcame my struggles through focusing on my lifestyle. It has had a huge impact and to this day, if I feel slightly insecure, perhaps unconfident, I will ask myself – what have I eaten?
Usually my bad thoughts relate to me forgetting to eat and prioritising junk over nutrition.
Through this talk, Melissa shares practical tips and advice on what you can do each day to look after your body and soul together.
I highly recommend visiting the Head Talks website and previewing for yourself a range of their talks. Regardless of whether you suffer from mental health, there is a wide amount of wisdom to gain.