Take Note Team
A CEO, an actress and a scientist walk into a bar. No, this incongruous group aren’t the setup for the sort of joke your dad might tell you, and they might have more in common than you think. Today we start our conversations around mental health.
As the global understanding of mental health issues increases, we’ve seen more and more public figures come forward to talk about their own struggles with mental illness, how they stay mentally healthy, and how they often feel like they’re not quite good enough to be where they are. People like Ruby Wax, Stephen Fry and Matt Haig have been champions of this, candidly sharing their own stories and encouraging others to do the same.
And why not? Time and again, research has shown that talking about mental health can break down stigmas and help people to feel supported and less alone, while bottling things up only makes them worse.
Why it’s good to talk
Here at Take Note, we love to talk and we love to listen. After all, we spend all our time listening to people talk about themselves - and you’d be surprised how personal things can get, even when you’re discussing the type of shampoo you like to use.
We’re also really lucky to talk to our team of fantastic transcribers (all 500+ of them!) every day. In amongst the usual chatter about deadlines and grammar, we hear about all the ups and downs in their lives. We know how difficult it can be to work from home and for all your ‘talking’ to be done over email. Most of us started out that way, so we know exactly how it feels. Having this experience means we’re always striving to help people feel valued and less alone.
The Mental Health Conversation
With that in mind, and it being Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, we want to open up a conversation about mental health. We’ve been talking about it in the office and with some typists for a long time, but more recently we’ve been chatting to Charlotte, long-time transcriber and soon-to-be registered therapist, about her own struggle with mental illness, and how sharing it can aid recovery.
Charlotte has kindly written a great article about her experiences, which I’m really excited for you to read next month. As well as sharing her story, she’s offered us some great practical tips on staying healthy and productive while working by yourself.
Ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome?
She’s not the only one who’s sharing, either. A couple of weeks ago, Take Note sent me to an evening training event on imposter syndrome. Have you ever felt like you’ve somehow tricked your way into getting to where you are now? If you have, it’s a feeling a lot of people can relate to, including CEOs, actresses and scientists (you see where I was going with that now), and around 20 market researchers who were at this particular session. We talked about negative and positive inner ‘voices’, and how to take control of them and use them to our advantage. The event was run by Gemma Collins, a cognitive hypnotherapist also known as the Peer Coach, and she not only encouraged us to share our experiences of not feeling quite good enough, but told us about hers too.
I was a bit sceptical beforehand, but I got some incredibly useful tips, and also the reminder (once again) that sharing really does help. I feel like I come to this conclusion every time I have any sort of difficult conversation, and then forget it again before it has a chance to stick. But I’m hoping that this time it will last for longer. Plus it’s only made me more determined to talk more.
Sharing your experiences
So, with that in mind, I’d love to hear from you, if you’re comfortable sharing your own stories with me. How does your mental health impact your life? What do you find helps it, or makes it worse? We’re not doing this as some sort of X Factor-style hunger for sob stories, although obviously this isn’t a subject that’s all chocolate boxes and roses. Perhaps you’ve found a new lease of life now that you’re able to work from home, or maybe you’ve seen a great new therapist who’s helped give you a fresh perspective on things. Whatever the case, rain or shine, we’d love to get to know this side of you better.
One last thing, in case this is a concern for any of you, we’d never publish anything you send us without first checking with you. While we’re really happy Charlotte wants to share her experience with you all and we’d love for others to do the same, if you don’t want to do that then we’d be more than happy to have a private conversation with you.
Written by Transcriber Co-ordinator