It’s no secret, healthcare in the UK is in a crisis. We witness it on a daily basis and, frankly, have had enough. That’s why we’re nailing the helpful colours to the mast, putting out a clarion call for all who can to pitch in and be helpful. In this blog we share what we intend to do and how and what you can do to help …
Celebrating 4 years of being Helpful
Our ambition is to build on the work we’ve done with the 340 people we have directly supported in the four years since the clinic opened and set our sights to support 2460 in the next four years.
Since The Helpful Clinic was founded in 2015, we have supported 340 people, helping them understand their feelings, what they mean and how to take helpful actions to get their lives back on track.
During this time, science has been progressing at a rate of knots, presenting irrefutable evidence that we’re running out of time to avoid extinction. Reducing, reusing, recycling and reclaiming has made it to the top of most people’s agendas. Yet, far too few of us are consciously recognising that the same is true of our wellbeing.
In fact, getting lives back on track is such an enormous part of what we do that it inspired our new slogan: ‘Reclaim You’. We are becoming increasingly aware of how important it is to be informed and take constructive action, this is especially the case with our planet and we are learning how important it is to recycle and reuse; to take actions and make choices that are respectful of the planet.
But it’s not just the planet that needs reclaiming. With striking statistics and our own personal experiences of persistent stress, overwhelm, anxiety, pain and fatigue it is vital to not leave ourselves behind but also reclaim our own attention, time and our health.
And having just celebrated our fourth birthday on December 1st, what better time than now to reiterate our mission and let you know what the future holds for us and those that we support here at The Helpful Clinic.
Well, for a start, it’s our goal to help a further 2,460 people over the next four years. To achieve this, we are bringing in more help and more support in the form of extra crew members. With more hands on deck and more determination than ever before, we are focussed on helping more and more people going forward.
Specifically, we want to (among other things):
- Get people to become more curious about their feelings
- Help people understand why they have the feelings they do and what to do about them
- Help people reduce their reliance on medication, smoking, drinking and other less helpful actions
- Reduce physical symptoms and emotional distress
Why this is a journey worth taking
One of the first steps to achieving these outcomes is getting people to start talking about their feelings. As a nation, it’s something we’re terrible at, and that’s something we want to change.
We’ll be communicating more and more about this in the New Year, but for now we just want to highlight why it is such a problem. Consider these statistics:
- Public Health England reports that more than 8 in ten people experienced indicators of poor mental health in the last 12 months
- Public Health England reports that 1 in 4 adults is inappropriately using prescription medication for pain and mood
- Up to 45% of all GP visits are in the category of Medically Unexplained Symptoms (like ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Burnout)
Not only do these factors place the NHS under an enormous strain, they also cost individuals dearly in terms of their functional ability and quality of life. This is not ok. In fact, you could say that the situation is verging on being a crisis, which is why we are putting out this clarion call and are determined to do our bit.
The Helpful Clinic’s call to action
We’re nailing our colours to the mast and unequivocally focusing on feelings. And we want you to add your skills and expertise to tackling this crisis. Why not join ranks with campaigns like Every Mind Matters – which is championed by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex? We want you to add to the invaluable and crucial support provided by organisations like the Samaritans too.
As we enter 2020, not just a New Year but a new decade, let’s get those important conversations started. As a nation we are so famous for having a stiff upper lip and not ‘doing’ feelings. Whilst this may sometimes actually be helpful (think the Blitz and those Keep Calm and Carry On messages), it’s not helpful as a default response to feelings.
The role of feelings, both physical sensations and emotions, is often dismissed and we go to great lengths to suppress, ignore, numb or disconnect these feelings. But doing that means losing access to valuable information and there will come a time when those methods start negatively impacting work, relationships and health.
It’s time to take feelings seriously.
With powerful list of activities lined up for 2020, we are starting the year by hosting an Impactathon. This is a bit like a hackathon, which is where programmers come together to solve a programming challenge but in this case, we’re solving how to make social impact.
The goal is to create a one page Feelings Manifesto where we state in clear and evidenced terms the cost of not talking about feelings, the benefits of talking about feelings and how to get started.
Join us on Saturday, January 18th from 10am – 3pm. We need all hands on deck. Come along and help make an impact. Find out more here.
Go gently, hold steady, stay the course.
All the best, Thor
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