So today was “Bell Let’s Talk” which was basically an initiative to talk more openly about Mental Health. I listenned to a brief interview on the radio today with Howie Mandel and he talked about when he accidently leaked he had OCD on a live talk show. This was about 20 years ago, so times were different and society was not aware of many health issues at the time. He was terrified when he said he had a psychiatry appointment and he thought his career was over. Amazingly, a lot of people were very thankful that he talked about it and it made other people feel normal. He continued to say that we need to redefine ‘normal’ – normal is someone with mental health issues, because who doesn’t have them? I absolutely agree with Mandel’s definition…
Continuing the topic of an Educative Experience… it is all about the process of the experience. During the process, you inquire, you experiment, you search your curiosities and within all of that you are learning, you learn from your successes and your failures.
My son is experiencing anxiety and it is not easy to deal with on a day to day basis. I have been doing lots of reading about anxiety and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and it all comes back down to slowing the mind down and seeking other ways to diffuse negative thoughts. My son has explosive tantrums when something doesn’t go ‘perfect’. In the past I would automatically react and tell him that everything is fine or I would scold him for being so unreasonable. Now, I take a few deep breaths so that I don’t react negatively and we try and work on the problem together, or we try to take a break. It doesn’t always work, sometimes he just needs to have a full on meltdown to get his frustrations out but I realized that if I take a few seconds to center myself, I can handle the situation a lot better and so does he. It is quite remarkable to actually see it working. I guess I am talking about this as an Educative Experience for both my son and myself. We are both learning.
I suppose the relationship between Mental Health and Education, brings me back to my previous journal entries on mindfulness and being able to create that open space within a classroom. I believe nurturing and compassionate relationships between students and teachers is key to having healthy mental health.