C is for Carolyn's 5Cs
|Author: null null||Published: 19th May 2012 21:23|
The 5 Cs is a framework for good mental health that I developed in 2010. I've been using it in workshops, groups and one-to-one work with individuals since then. Its a way of enabling people to think about their mental health or wellbeing from a strengths based, solution focused perspective rather than focus on the problems. It really is true that up close no-one is ‘normal'!
When we discuss physical health, we mean healthy habits, fitness, strength, agility, energy and so on. Mental health on the other hand has become synonymous with ill-health - depression, anxiety, stress, unable to cope, and above all stigma.
With physical health, we all know that at times we have to work harder at it. We all know that if we get flu, or if we have an operation, there will be a period of recovery needed. Sometimes we have to build ourselves up physically to take on a particular challenge - stamina if we plan to run a marathon for example. No one imagines that if you get yourself into peak physical condition you never have to think about your physical wellbeing again.
The stigma which surrounds mental ill-health means that we are extraordinarily ignorant about what goes into good mental health, what habits are beneficial and can build up particular strengths like mental resilience in times of change for example. So when we're feeling low or stressed or anxious, lacking in motivation, we don't really know what to do about it. And nor do others!
And if you're in the 25% of the adult population who are identified as experiencing mental ill-health such as depression and anxiety - many people have said that the stigma and attitudes of others was the hardest thing to deal with, making recovery much harder than it need be.
The 5Cs framework encourages you to recognise what your stronger areas are and build on those to improve your overall mental and emotional health. It helps you to develop a meaningful individual plan whether for recovery from mental ill-health, or to give your mental wellbeing a much needed boost, or to actively maintain good mental health in challenging circumstances.