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Promoting Mental Wellbeing ONLINE WORKSHOP - Mental Health Awareness (for everyone) Reviews

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Elizabeth F, 10 Aug 2021

I found the first part of this training challenging. the first question was 'how would you know if someone is physically healthy' i expressed that i found this a tough question as i have an invisible disability and therefore look physically healthy however do struggle. This was met by a response 'is it a tough question?' and a 'yes i guess' and moved on making me feel completely disregarded. I really felt that because my comment did not fit the agenda it was disregarded. I have struggled for years with the stigma in society that if you look physically well and healthy then you are. This was again promoted in this mental health training that physical health can be seen and mental health cannot. I appreciated the sentiment that mental health/ ill-health cannot be seen however this really belittled invisible disabilities as it was made clear that physical health can be seen when this is not always the case. I was starting to feel that as a society we were becoming more understanding of the fact that individuals may have physical disabilities that we cannot see, however this seemed to be completely disproved. I feel disappointed that i came out of this mental health training concerned about the message that we are sharing with the county through this training. My mental health has been affected over the years due to others looking at me and seeing that i look young and physically healthy however am not, and therefore this training highlighted this yet again. It concerns me that if this is the message we are promoting in our training, is it also the message that is being portrayed to our service users.
Response : Dear Elizabeth. Firstly, thank you for sharing your feedback and please accept our sincere apology for the way you felt during the training - it is clearly not our intention for anyone to feel disregarded. What you describe is something that our trainer has personal experience of from working in a physical disability charity. She believed that she had demonstrated that she had heard you and had indicated her agreement with your earlier point when talking about hidden struggles later in the training. It is clear that that this sentiment and intention did not translate well and for that we apologise sincerely. Please be assured that the message you interpreted is not the intended message of this training and that our feedback on the whole supports that. That said, we thank you for the opportunity to be ultra mindful in future. Tamsen - Director of Culture.

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