Recently I had the oppurtunity to tell my story for the second time at a CIT training event for law enforcement. The experince was great much like the first time. During the training one of the fellow speakers put somehting very eliquintly that I really liked. Today I want to talk about that.
She said that everyone has mental health… mental health is on a continuum and that we all just fall at different levels at different points in our lives. I thought this notion and the way she put this was awesome.
When you think of everyone as having mental health it leaves a very good start to encourage everyone to work on their mental health and be educated about mental health. This idea could prevent people from needing treatment later, at least possibly. It also makes those with mental illness more likely to feel less seperate and it maybe opens up for those who aren’t suffering from mental illness to view those struggling as more normal and an accurate picture.
I think it also in a way addresses a topic that has come up in my life a lot. I’ve had multiple people tell me everyone has problems, you don’t need a label, and there is nothing wrong with you. I agree… everyone has problems. I’ve even at one point said I think there isn’t a person out there who would not be able to fit the DSM criteria for some mental illness. I don’t know that I believe that anymore. Although, with this it brings up the point of what is a mental illness. When looking at this the answer it really comes down to when mental health is impeading your ability to function. When taking positive psychology there was a lot of talk about life above 0. The idea being that 0 is a state in which your surving and functioning at an okay level and below 0 would be the level of mental health in which you have a mental illness. There is also above 0. This is when you are more then just survivng and meeting normal function but exceeding.