This Thursday, 7 February, is National “Time to Talk Day” 2019. Time to Talk Day reminds us all to be a little more aware of the mental pressure that others around us may be facing, and seek to alleviate that pressure by entering into a dialogue or conversation with someone who may be feeling burdened.
As a divorce lawyer, I am all too familiar with the impact of what is a traumatic time in anyone’s life and the direct effect on their mental wellbeing. Divorce (or any type of relationship breakdown) is one of the most stressful things that we, as individuals, can face, along with changing jobs or moving house.
While the negative impact of divorce can cause a situational related depression, knowing that the situation may pass in time doesn’t make it any easier to handle for the person who is under that big black cloud. Reaching out and speaking to someone in such a situation can be one of the simplest and best ways to help them relieve some of the pressure they are under – talking with another person in a sympathetic way can release that pressure valve.
The negative psychological effects of divorce have been something I have been focusing on for the last year or so, particularly with men. Although it is anecdotal, my experience is that women, when coping with the strains of the separation process, are adept at sharing and finding support among their girlfriends. Men, on the other hand, can become absorbed in the fear that they are not demonstrating strength and masculinity – at a time when they are already at a low ebb they may feel even more overwhelmed by negative or toxic masculine perceptions that surround talking and sharing their feelings, when in fact this is precisely what a man in that situation should do.
I have been working with eminent psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Tarun Pamneja to create a bespoke clinical programme which is specifically designed for men, and aims to help them deal with their relationship breakdown and the strains of the legal side of divorce proceedings. This programme, containing four simple stages, is designed to encourage men to find time to talk with a qualified person who will help them adjust the way they are thinking; emotionally and psychologically address their situation; and thus find some relief from the potential downward spiral they may have encountered.
This programme is called the Man Mind Journey Planner and is available to anyone who needs it, not just clients of this firm.
Further, with this firm’s focus on mental health and in particular, men’s mental health, we have chosen to support the national charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) which in itself is dedicated to assisting men combat mental health issues, depression and suicide.
The statistics for mental health issues are rather stark. One in four people will experience a mental health issue each year. It is estimated that 676,000,000 people will have a mental health issue at any time worldwide. Mental illness is the largest single burden of disease in the UK, with mental illnesses being more common, lasting longer and having greater impact than many other health conditions. People with mental health conditions tend to lose their employment and men between the ages of 40 and 49 have the highest suicide rates in Great Britain. Given these somewhat frightening figures, taking the time to think about, and talk to others about their mental health has never been better than today.
Rayden Solicitors are a specialist family law firm with offices in St Albans, Berkhamsted and Beaconsfield. If you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists on 01727 734260.