What makes good mental health?
Surviving or thriving – what’s the difference?
This is the question to be addressed in Mental Awareness Week (#MHAW17), starting on 8 May 2017 and hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.
Yet a fundamental understanding of this difference has been at the heart of the human givens approach ever since its inception 20 years ago.
We thrive when our essential emotional needs are met in balance – needs such as those for autonomy, security, emotional and community connection, achievement and meaning and purpose. And our needs are most likely to be met when we are using our innate resources – abilities such as memory, empathy, imagination, problem solving, thinking skills and managing emotions – to help us.
It is when people feel overwhelmed, out of their depth or isolated, or when they don’t know how to use their innate resources effectively, that they start to experience psychological symptoms such as stress, anxiety and depression or resort to unhealthy escape valves such as blowing their tops, harming others, or falling into addictions. Severe depression can lead to psychosis. And traumatic experiences can lead to any of these symptoms.
None of this happens when our lives are on track, and when we feel respected and valued as human beings.
The human givens approach has helped countless individuals turn their lives around, by showing them how to meet their needs and use their resources effectively.
But the problem is much bigger than that. Economic pressures on society, inequalities and often unimaginative leadership at national and local levels leave too many people literally struggling to survive or feeling cast aside. Priorities need to change.
The human given approach is all about recognising and meeting our own and others’ emotional needs wherever there are people – including schools, universities and workplaces of every kind.
For ideas on how to make the world a better place by taking account of human nature, see the Human Givens Charter.
More than ever before – these ideas are needed now.
Explore our articles and interviews
In this article, Joe Griffin suggests that techniques which can yield immediate success, may share an underlying mechanism.
In the 1930s a Bedouin tribesman introduced a young Irish doctor to the powers of the subconscious mind. Sixty years later, after doing over four thousand operations using hypnosis. Dr Jack Gibson talks to Joe Griffin..
Human givens principles have been introduced to over 200 schools and adopted systemically by some. Here, four headteachers provide a vivid snapshot of their impact.
In this 2009 article, Bill Andrews describes the practice-based evidence that has emerged from studies of the human givens approach to date and explains why the future looks positive.
Teacher trainer Andy Vass shows how knowledge and application of the human givens approach could help hard-pressed teachers reduce stress and improve the climate in class.
Self-harm is still a taboo subject. Angela shares her experience of self-harm and the impact it had on her life before taking the first steps to recovery.
The governing organisations of the world seem all at sea. They are missing an essential element: that of the psychology of human nature, which is programmed into us from our genes (the human 'givens').
Keith Abrahams describes how applying the human givens approach to his business has boosted both morale and productivity.
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The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care's (PSA) accredited Registers – which include the HGI's Professional Register, are now explicitly listed by the NHS, and the rigour of
Adapting to university life can be a daunting and highly stressful time for young people and their families as everyone adjusts to the many challenges and changes it brings – this 90 minute webinar with Gareth Hughes gives you some of the best advice available for anxious students and their loved ones...