STATES OF MIND provides the younger generation with a new way of thinking about what mental health problems are, while providing them with useful and non-medical tools to improve their wellbeing.
As a society, we have come to rely on a medical paradigm to understand the most intimate and personal parts of our lives, which has led to a culture of labelling and medicating psychological and emotional distress. This narrative, although supported by many individuals in positions of power and authority, does little to inform us about the real causes of mental health concerns and therefore restricts our ability to feel confident and curious about overcoming these personal challenges.
"We want to go beneath labels and beyond the individual, into a collective exploration of the human experience."
As an Organisation, we recognise the fact that everybody, at many points in their lives, will find it difficult to cope with the challenges of life.
We provide workshops for the younger generation that explore a range of psychological approaches to improving wellbeing. Our aim is to empower young people to speak confidently about mental health in a way that is inclusive and connects people, rather than isolating and segregating them in times of distress.
STATES OF MIND sees all 'abnormal' behaviour as a part of the human experience. As behaviour which can be understood in the historical and interpersonal context of a person's life.
We invite curiosity as a replacement for fearfulness and judgement, while recognising that although we may not be able to cure the extreme cases ourselves, we can see them in ways that change the experience of the person, through our different ways of thinking.
WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER
Instead of the confusion, sense of panic and powerlessness that this world may instil in us, this changing landscape of human experience is an invitation for all of us to return to what it is that works... not destructs, what heals... not damages, to know what we can change and what we can't . STATES OF MIND hopes to bring psychology into life, to shed light on the human qualities that we need to respect and hold onto, stripping the problem back to what we can do in our everyday lives to create a different future.
In 2011, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that antidepressant use in the United States has increased nearly 400% in the last two decades, making antidepressants the most frequently-used class of medications by Americans ages 18-44 years. By 2008, 23% of women ages 40–59 years were taking antidepressants.
The CDC, on May 3, 2013, reported that the suicide rate among Americans ages 35–64 years increased 28.4% between 1999 and 2010 (from 13.7 suicides per 100,000 population in 1999 to 17.6 per 100,000 in 2010).
As Noel Hunter said, “When 45,000 people a year would rather die than live in this world any longer, it might behoove us all to consider what is happening in the world to cause this.”
Humans are not born resilient. They rely on emotional support, healthy communities and a sense of purpose to thrive in the world. They need to feel safe when vulnerable and they need to feel seen to strive. No human thrives on isolation, yet our world is increasingly changing in ways that disrupt our ability to connect authentically and to feel like we have control over the world around us.
We are calling for young people to come together to find solutions to these human challenges.
States of Mind has developed a person-centred approach to mental health that puts young people at the centre of problem solving. By providing them with a unique space to explore issues related to mental health, our approach ensures there is no sense of power imbalance in the work we do. Instead, young people are encouraged to develop autonomy, resilience and compassion by enhancing self awareness and mutual aid.
‘States of Mind brings a positive asset-based approach to mental health with the power of young people and brain science at its centre’
— Colin Falconer, InspireChilli
AGE OF ANXIETY
"womb- sophie naufal baker (2007)
'You don't need a label when you have a story.'
Tech and Mental Health
Recommended by Sharmin Ahammad, Founder of Digital Cooldown:
The invisible landscape of mental health.
Perhaps the most agreed upon truth of what allows a human to thrive, is that their environment must facilitate them to grow.
Human potential is unlocked through an absence of restriction, through an ability to experience physical and psychological space. Like anything that lives, there is always an endless interaction with the environment and with this, an inevitable powerlessness that exists in having no control over the forces that surround us. The tools we need to thrive are given to us, as dependant children and unfortunately, we are not always provided with these tools at the times when we most need them. These are not physical tools, they are metaphysical human resources that cannot be seen.
These are the human commodities. The invisible components of mental health. It is these commodities that are able to dissolve emotional pain and with that, the suffering in ourselves and others.
Emotional pain is a signal, an indicator and a message. We do not feel safe, and we definitely do not feel comfortable. From the moment we first open our eyes, this pain is within us. Our ability to soothe the pain is in the hands and minds of those around us. Dependent on those around us recognising our pain, validating our reality and soothing our emotional and psychological state. Without this, we continue to suffer unbearably.
Nobody is immune to this suffering, everybody has felt this pain. Everybody on instagram, everybody on facebook… everybody in the world. Our ability to overcome these mental states as young people and as adults will always rely on our ability to access and experience these human resources at work.
Perception relies on sensitivity… and to be able to be sensitive with ourselves we need space for reflection. Those spaces are slowly closing in these lives we live as the desperation for something we can’t reach becomes our preoccupation. So we entertain ourselves, we distract and we come up with excuses, forgetting the break will never come unless we create it. What people need when they are suffering is a way to see themselves through something else. To see a different reflection of our reality and believe it.
If we are alone, the only reality that we know is our own but as soon as there is another reality in the room, change becomes possible. The tools of the other can be given to us, handed over in a quiet exchange, Our pain being seen by another, to be heard and felt, holds the power to dissolve the walls that imprison it within us. Our reality expands beyond our own, and with this the boundaries of what we believe and feel to be possible. With this release, comes the calm and the nourishment, as space opens for new ways of perceiving our world and navigating our psychological room. We feel a greater sense of choice, an opportunity with this new freedom to be removed from suffering.
With each day, we wrestle with our unique mental container and interact with others who are doing the same. Life is an endless exchange of human commodities and our sense of wellbeing relies on those who can provide us with space, who have enough of their own to sacrifice to enable our growth. The less space those we surround ourselves with have, the less growth is possible for everyone.
This is why ‘mental health’ can never be reduced to an individual’s reality, but depends on the health of a human network , to regulate itself and repair those parts that need attention, that need dedicated space to heal. Human suffering and human healing are both created and transformed through interaction. With each interaction we are presented with an opportunity to restrict our space or to expand it. With the direction dependant on each persons access and use of these resources that cannot be seen.
Bea Herbert, Founder of States of Mind.
Tech and Mental Health Workshop
States of Mind x Digital Cooldown