“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”
R.B. Fuller, quoted from “Reinventing Organisations” (Frederic Laloux)
Facts & figures with regards to mental problems in our society are alarming and in fact, shocking. No less than 32% of our population reports mental problems: anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, etc.
That’s a lot.
Today, Vigez‘ organized an interesting event in Brussels to explore this issue, and to identify solutions (For Twitter addicts : “#Veerkracht15”). Stress, the pace of change, increasing turbulence & extreme volatility in our environment: they are here to stay.
So the key question is how each of us can increase his/her resilience, so as to survive in these times of madness.
More information about this topic:
Winnie De Roover explains the main principles of building resilience & emphasizes that we need to look at it from 3 combined perspectives: physical, mental, and social.
The Vigez toolbox is based on this view.
In research, “clusters of behavior” have been identified, and for example, we see that poverty has an impact across a whole series of dimensions of mental health, and food, and social isolation, etc.
Prof Ernst Bohlmeyer (Center for eHealth) then explains the basics of his model, improving mental health is based on the following 6 pillars:
2. Context is extremely important : schools, neighbourhoods, etc. can play a powerful & pivotal role in increasing the mental well-being of people.
3. Strength-based appproach: more & more models assume that you have to start from your strengths (& from the strengths of others). That’s one good argument to forget all about “performance reviews” ! Because they focus too much on what are your weaknesses, what you’re not good at, etc. Many performance review processes focus on what needs to be improved, and not enough on how one’s strengths can be better deployed, in the organisation.
4. Future-oriented: coping with mental problems should focus on building hope, creating optimism, setting targets, stimulating imagination, fostering creativity, etc.
5. Relationships: very often, mental problems are related to dysfunctional relationships, so part of the solution is to stimulate compassion, teach people how to listen carefully, how to react in a friendly way, help people to learn how to forgive, etc.
6. “Connecting” : as in, “how to truly connect with others ?”, but this is also linked to spirituality, creating a sense of purpose, etc.
On a personal note, I think we could add a number 7 to his !
“Hang on to Humor: laughing in the face of adversity can be profoundly pain relieving, for both the body and mind. Playful humor enhances survival for many reasons, writes resiliency authority Al Siebert in The Survivor Personality. Laughing reduces tension to more moderate levels, and psychologically, choosing levity can be incredibly empowering.”
The website offers “10 steps” to achieve mental resilience, and the app can be downloaded for free : more than 6.000 people downloaded the app, with great results.
There is definitely a substantial “need” for this online platform. People who used the platform really needed help, 50% reported substantially reduced mental well-being, and 30% reported reduced well-being.
So, it seems that many people only look for help when there is a really urgent issue at hand (this is of course too late, it is better to look for help earlier in the process).
The analysis of “treatment” group versus control group shows that youngsters strongly benefit from using this platform. Remarkable: also single persons benefit a lot / more from this platform compared to couples.
Those were the short-term results, the platform will now need to prove it’s longterm benefits !
Conclusion: great seminar, and applause only when standing up !
Peter De Groof