Wellbeing practitioner Alan talks mental health with Bulls TV
Wellbeing Practitioner Alan Wilson recently sat down with Bradford Bulls‘ Commercial Director Joe Pitts to talk all things mental health.
“The very first thing I say to someone is ‘well done for coming,” Alan says, as they kick off by talking about Mind in Bradford’s services and the first steps to seeking support.
“I appreciate from personal experience how hard it is to take that first step through that door. I always say I’m at risk of sounding patronising, but it is a genuine heartfelt message, because it takes incredible strength to seek support.”
Alan continues by explaining how things like stigma and discrimination can make it even harder to seek support – something he’s experienced himself, particularly as a man.
“The stigma is often the hardest part of it – being discriminated against and people not really understanding it.
Especially, I have to say, as a bloke, it’s incredibly difficult to speak out, because often in our society it’s seen as a weakness.
“We tend to have this stiff upper lip culture in Britain and this stoic attitude, and so there’s often that fear of being judged very harshly.“
Joe and Alan continue by talking about how people can get in touch with Mind in Bradford to get support, volunteer or join our staff team, and how sometimes these can all come hand-in-hand in someone’s mental health journey.
“One of my work colleagues now first came to Mind in Bradford for support. She completed our Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and then she started volunteering with us and assisting with that group. Then when she was ready to return to work, she applied to do relief work with us and is now working at Mind in Bradford on a regular basis. She’s doing incredibly well.”
I myself have been at Mind in Bradford eight years – it’s a wonderful job. It’s the longest I’ve ever spent in one role; the support of my colleagues is amazing.
“I still have my struggles – I have OCD, so I need some flexibility and adjustments. But my manager Phil is incredible at it – he’s made a huge difference to my life.”
Alan finished with some final thoughts about how we can all fight the stigma and help make the world a place where everyone can talk freely about mental health, without fear of being judged or discriminated against.
“I think if we’re going to eliminate stigma or reduce it as best we can, we need to accept that everyone has mental health. We all have a brain that needs looking after, we all have lives to live, and as we all know life throws stuff at you – it’s not perfect, it’s a rocky road.”
You can watch Alan and Joe’s conversation in full below:
If you want to talk to someone about your mental health, you can call our free helpline Guide-Line on 08001 884 884, any day from 8am until 12am (midnight). If you’d rather not speak on the phone, you can talk to us via live chat.
Posted on: 9th November 2022