Hugo shared so bravely with his peers, opening hearts and minds to his personal experiences of mental health. He said:  “reach out and talk – this seat should not be empty”. 

Mental health is such an broad and impersonal term. Referring generally to our cognitive and emotional functions, it seems to leave out the personal experience and its impact on our lives.  When you bring in your own experience it becomes real and tangible. 

We can begin by noticing the quality of our thoughts (negative, fast, blank, obsessive, compulsive, distracted, positive etc) and acknowledging our feelings (anger, sadness, excitement, fear, disgust, grief etc); this begins to build an inner landscape and resilience.

As Hugo says in his video, ‘it must be socially acceptable to discuss who you are’.  We must feel able to share coping mechanisms before becoming overwhelmed. Once we cross the line from mental well-being to mental illness we lose our curiosity and our ability to connect and regulate ourselves. 

I look forward to honouring Hugo’s legacy of #STRONGERTHANTHESTIGMA and raising awareness of how to keep your mental well-being in check.

Georgie is a psychotherapist (www.georgiemanners.co.uk)  with a particular interest in psychobiology which is the integration of the body and mind for transformation.

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