We recently spoke to Lauren van Rooyen, the Founder of MomBoss Kenya, on why we should all champion mental wellness, the need to open up more about our struggles and the role of the society in ensuring that everyone is leading a life that looks good on the inside, not just good on the outside.
This is what she had to say:
Why should people in our society open up more about their innermost feelings and struggles?
Lauren: It is true what they say that we are governed by our emotions. As women, we are even more so since along with our femininity comes a wide range of emotions that we feel more intensely than our male counterparts. Having said this, men, in particular, feel a sense of shame or inadequacy if they face mental health challenges. Luckily, we are living in an era where we are breaking the boundaries and stigma around mental health. With a wide range of resources available we no longer have to suffer in silence.
Speaking openly about our emotions not only validates them but affords you the opportunity to digest them, face them and deal with them. It is not healthy to bottle your emotions, feelings, fears, and burdens since it will manifest in your everyday life affecting the quality of life you live.
Talking openly about your struggles will lift the weight off your chest and this is the starting point of taking control of your emotions and your life. The time is now to speak out without fear or judgment. Find the right resources to help you.
What can society do to support the people around us who are affected by mental health conditions?
Lauren: I believe we are on the right track here since the stigma is being broken around mental health challenges however there is plenty of room for improvement. In the workplace, employers should implement better systems and resources for their employees who may be suffering from mental health struggles.
For example, having counselors available to their staff who may be suffering from anxiety, depression, etc. will not only empower the employee to take charge of their life but in turn improve the quality of work they produce. Management could also arrange workshops and life skills courses for their staff. They are after all the driving force behind your business and the happier they are the better output you will receive. Set up mentorship programs where someone takes another under their wing sending positive aspirations and advice.
Sometimes all it takes is a kind word to make a grey day brighter.
What advice do you have for people who are too embarrassed to get help?
Lauren: You are not alone and you do NOT have to suffer in silence. You only have this one life to live and you deserve to live it fully, completely and with joy. If you find yourself struggling and you don’t know which way to turn, the best thing you can do is research to see what resources will work for you. At times speaking to the family is not an option. Getting professional advice, support and the right set of skills is a big step in the right direction. Some people may find support through Psychology, Life Coaching or simply by reading a good book. Empower yourself with the knowledge that will help you gain the upper hand on your mental health. The power really is in your hands. Don’t be afraid to speak out. You might just be surprised to see how many other people around you suffer from similar struggles.
Support groups are also fantastic resources and a safe space to talk about your feelings. Don’t delay. Take charge. When you gain control and clarity over your emotions and mental health, you will begin living the best version of your life.
Hisia Psychology Consultants is a therapist-run organisation that provides holistic psychological solutions for businesses, individuals, couples, families and groups. Inspired by the need to care for the growing mental-wellness needs of our society, our goal is to partner with you to enhance the quality of your life.
To speak to us about individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, children therapy, or group therapy kindly call us on +254 745 562 108 or fill in your contact details in the form below. We shall contact you as soon as possible.