The dominant culture in health care is about being sick. It’s true. We talk about it as if it’s all that health is — the absence of disease. This is so far from the truth. The reality is that health is the cornerstone of our success. Without things like housing, food, support, and oh yes, health care, we may not be able to achieve our goals. We are, at our core, people who feel, think, and act in ways that support the vision we have of our life.
So what happens when events occur that throw us off? Events so troubling they cause us to feel, think, and in some cases, act differently? Does this impact our health?
You see, our minds and our bodies are interconnected. How we think can impact how we feel. How we feel can impact what we do. And all of these things impact our health.
Yesterday a horrible thing happened. An event, which shook most of us to our core, and which we will all remember, occurred when people were gathering to celebrate the art of music. They were there for fun — and it turned into a tragedy that none of us will soon forget.
For many of us, what happened is still being processed. It was hard to see the news yesterday morning when we woke up. It’s even harder to process what it means. Maybe we have been watching the television all day for updates. Maybe we have been so shocked we don’t even know what to think or do. For so many of us this was at once a sad, terrifying, and angering experience.
Our health is predicated on the fact that we are able to process things — to address things to keep us well. We are whole people, not pieces, and we are at our core relational. We want to be connected with people — with others. So how we respond to horrific events like those that happened in Las Vegas matters.
Absolutely it does.
Yesterday, Well Being Trust launched a partnership with BuzzFeed media. This has been months in the making — we partnered to bring attention to the need to talk as openly about our mental health as we do our favorite gifs, our favorite musicians, and the videos that make us laugh uncontrollably. And we launch this partnership in the hope that it will spark a discussion around mental health that may not have happened before — that we change the dialogue around health to make it OK to talk about our mental health, too.
And today, we all need to talk.
We need to process Las Vegas.
We need to process Puerto Rico.
We need to process Houston.
We need to process our hard day at work.
We need to process that surprise moment of joy.
And to process, we need time for ourselves, and time with others. We need to not isolate and keep all these feelings inside, but rather share with others what’s going on and how we are doing.
Because to #BeWell, is to #BeHeard.
Tonight when you hug your loved ones, talk out how you feel. Laugh, cry, and experience whatever motion most drives you — share it. And for those of you with kids, don’t be afraid to talk to them about what happened — about how you feel — honesty will be tremendously useful. See here for some great examples of how to talk to your kids about disaster.
So what will you do tonight? How will you share how you feel?
One way to join in the conversation is by reading and sharing these articles, and by weighing in with your own thoughts and stories using #BeWell and #BeHeard in your social posts. For more posts on mental health and wellness, check out BuzzFeed now as we enter Mental Health Week.
For ways to get help for you or a loved one, find more resources at Each Mind Matters.
Click here for more on Well Being Trust.