COMPETITION: Mental Health Hacks for World Mental Health Day 2020

Brain Yapping by Dr Dean Burnett

Tomorrow is #WorldMentalHealthDay. And if there was EVER a year where we need to be aware of everyone’s mental health, it’s this one.

Tomorrow is also important for me for a more personal reason. It’s 1 year to the day since my book Psycho Logical was published by Audible. So, I figured it’d be nice to mark the occasion, in as helpful a way as possible

Psycho Logical explains what happens in the brain when our mental health goes awry. We’re regularly told that mental disorders are common and genuine problems (which is 100% correct), but we’re rarely told *why* that is. This book is my attempt at an answer to that

I’ve always found that knowing how and why a problem occurs makes it less scary, less mysterious. In the case of mental disorders and the like, knowing what’s going on in the brain could, I wager, help people accept and understand the reality of mental health

And so, I wrote Psycho Logical. But one of the most interesting parts for me was speaking to those who deal with their own mental health issues, and have worked out their own interesting ways to cope with or handle it when their mental health starts causing trouble

People like Dan Mitchell, Lowri Williams, Bethany BlackGirl on the Net, Rachel England, Amelia Stubberfield, Guy Kelly and Martha Mills. All have worked out their own intriguing ways of dealing with what their troublesome brains throw at them. It was a genuine joy to include them in my nerdy words

So, I thought it’d be nice to do something potentially helpful. I’ve got the team at The Cosmic Shambles Network on board, and here’s what we’re going to do; we’re going to ask you for your own Mental Health Hacks.

If you deal with mental health issues of your own, have found your own reliable way of coping with things when then they’re taking their toll, and are willing to share these with us via Twitter, using the hashtag #MentalHealthHacksCSN, or leave a comment on this post. We’d love to hear them.

If you’re looking for examples of #MentalHealthHacksCSN, my podcast buddy/book contributor/actual friend Rachel England has a whole bunch of them here.      

They can be fun, quirky, completely serious, whatever. I just figured it’d be handy to have insight from people who’ve dealt with genuine mental problems and worked out how to offset them, all in one place.

Assuming we get enough (any), the top 5 #MentalHealthHacksCSN will receive a free copy of the Psycho Logical audiobook via Audible! And the best ones will be shared in an article/video here on the CSN (unless you don’t want that, just let me know).

Sadly, with problems almost certainly spiking this year, and medical funding going elsewhere, mental health resources are likely to end up even more scarce than they already were. So crowdsourcing and individual insights could be more important than ever.

And that’s what I’m trying to do here. So, if you’re willing to share your mental health advice, and fancy winning a free audiobook that I did, just reply to my tweet thread here, tweet with #MentalHealthHackCSN or comment under the post right here. You never know, it could really help someone

P.S. I’m aware that, as a media type who writes about it a lot, I’ve been called a ‘Mental Health Hack’ myself numerous times, and probably will be even more after this. I’m OK with that.

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Dr Dean Burnett is a neuroscientist and best selling author of such books as The Idiot Brain and The Happy Brain. His former column Brain Flapping for The Guardian (now Brain Yapping here on the CSN) was the most popular blog on their platform with millions of readers worldwide. He is a former tutor and lecturer for the Cardiff University Centre for Medical Education and is currently an honorary research associate at Cardiff Psychology School and Visiting Industry Fellow at Birmingham City University.  He is @garwboy on Twitter.

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