In addition to my role as a hypnotherapist, I am also a trustee with Happy Valley Pride. I was delighted to be asked to be part of their panel session looking at LGBTQ+ mental health in 2020.
In the run-up to the event, I was also invited on to BBC Radio Leeds to talk about this important topic. It is great that there is so much focus on mental health at the moment and evidence indicates that LGBTQ+ experience a greater incidence of depression, anxiety, suicidality and substance misuse than the majority population.
The statistics are shocking. But with the panel, we wanted to look beyond the numbers. It was a discussion on mental health in 2020 from an LGBTQ+ perspective in an engaging, informal and informative way.
I was joined on the panel by
Moderator – Kate O' Donnell - Theatre performer, writer, Artistic Director TransCreative
Carl Harrison – performer, choreographer, and Camp Fit! host
Lydia Pignataro – Barnardo's Positive Identities
Sally Macabe – Occupational Health Therapist
Sarah Long – Sarah Long Mental Health & Wellbeing
It was a wide-ranging and lively discussion looking at how perceptions of mental health need to be challenged and whether the pandemic has impacted the LGBTQ+ community in different ways.
We ended on a really positive note, promoting kindness and the power of communication. Each of the panel provided a top tip for wellbeing – including:
Get moving, in whatever way that works for you! Go for a run, or a walk. Dance in your kitchen (join CampFit on Instagram to help get you motivated). It doesn’t matter so long as you get moving.
Give yourself 10 minutes of proper relaxation – no distractions – no screens. Practice this as it is tougher than it sounds.
Always reach out when you need to. Talk to friends, family, see your GP.
Write your worries and anxieties down, get them out of your head. In a journal or a diary, or a post-it note or scrap of paper.
Give yourself a time to worry – which may sound strange, but it can be really effective. Dedicate 10 minutes worry time.
Always give yourself a break, treat yourself with kindness. Treat yourself as you treat others.
Reach out for help when you need to. There are plenty of services available who want to help.
Find out more about Happy Valley Pride including future events in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas and online.
Find how about hypnotherapy for anxiety and how I can help, get in touch for a free consultation.
Malcolm Struthers Hypnotherapy - Online and in-person in Dumfries & Galloway