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
Book review: 'Lost Connections: uncovering the real causes of depression – and the unexpected solutions'
Denise Winn has read Lost Connections: uncovering the real causes of depression – and the unexpected solutions, and talked to its author, Johann Hari.
With mindfulness now all the rage, many online articles are now advocating breathing techniques as a way to lessen anxiety and control stress levels.
Joe Griffin explains why dreaming, and forgetting our dreams, fulfils a vital human need.
Looking at cult behaviour. A revised version (including additional material) of an article by Ivan Tyrrell, first published in 1993, that explores Dr Arthur Deikman's enlightening work on cult behaviour.
Sian Withers shows how she makes very good use of the human givens approach thousands of feet up in the air.
In this article, Joe Griffin suggests that techniques which can yield immediate success, may share an underlying mechanism.
Joe Griffin talks with Professor Ian Robertson about the role of experience in the sculpting of our brains, and why certain types of counselling may do harm.
If people are suffering emotional distress there will always be unmet emotional needs, this is how the Human Givens approach works.
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> Now available – the full programme and list of speakers has just been announced – click here for full details – Early Bird Booking discount ENDS 14th February 2018
Date posted: 05/02/2018
The HGI Board is running an open competition for new Board members to expand its expertise. In particular we are looking for...
Date posted: 14/02/2018