As you’re well-aware by now, Tasha Broomhall joined The Psychology of It as a guest writer in early 2018 and she hasn’t stopped giving ever since.
One day, not long ago, I received a parcel in the mail containing not one, but two of Tasha’s books: 1. Mental Health and Wellbeing; and, 2. At Work: A Mental Health Guide for Leaders.
I devoured the first one in no time and have been eager to share my brief review of it, as it could very well be a go-to pocket guide to caring for your mental health.
First, a little background on Tasha.
Tasha Broomhall is the Director and lead facilitator for Blooming Minds Mental Health and Wellbeing which has partnered with organisations and communities to develop cultures of positive mental health and wellbeing for the past 10 years.
After spending the beginning part of her career working individually with employees living with mental illness to manage its impacts in the workplace, Tasha recognised a gap in manager understanding of mental illness and their legal obligations and responsibilities to employee mental health.
That’s why she developed Blooming Minds – to not only inform leaders about their roles and responsibilities towards employee mental health, but to provide tools and supports that give practical steps for responding to mental health issues in their employees, themselves and their colleagues.
Tasha draws from her background in psychology, disability, psycho-social rehabilitation and business to talk about a serious topic in a relatable and sometimes humorous way that connects with her audiences.
The Wow Factors:
Reading Tasha’s book had me feeling as though I was having a conversation with her. Her language is accessible and easy to understand, and she avoids psycho-babble jargon. Tasha has obviously been working in this area for so long that she has honed her messages to be succinct and to the point.
Mental Health and Wellbeing is empowering and effortlessly adds valuable tools to your toolkit. Not only does it work to de-stigmatise mental illness, it provides you with effective strategies for managing your own mental health and provides resources for how and where to seek help for not only yourself, but also for others.
The book is set out into six user-friendly and useful sections:
1. What is Mental Health?
2. What is Mental Illness?
3. How You Live Influences Your Mental Health and Wellbeing
4. Blooming and Buoyant
5. Steps to Help You Bloom
6. Steps for You to Help Others Bloom
With words like anxiety and depression used freely in our everyday language, the first two sections of Mental Health and Wellbeing provides you with a solid structure within which to understand some of our high prevalence disorders such as a variety of anxiety and depressive disorders, using the following breakdown:
• Background to the Disorders
• A Symptom List
• Risk Factors
• Treatments and Resources that Can Help
• Ways of Managing the Disorder
• Support for Family and Friends
Tasha also uses loads of useful graphics to summarise her points and to help you remember your new tools.
As a psychologist myself, I’m always on the lookout for new tools and metaphors, or ways to explain concepts to my clients so that they might understand the messages clearer, and I’m happy to say that Tasha’s book has provided me with plenty!
For example, she breaks her tools down into five categories:
1. Mental Dexterity
2. Stress Agility
Mental dexterity she says, is “the other F word”, meaning to have flexibility in your thoughts and actions, but to also create freeze moments for yourself to buy yourself time to respond to situations instead of reacting.
The stress agility section covers a multitude of stress reduction strategies, all within our reach as readers, including the benefits of a simple smile, breathing and visualisation. Tasha also threads through messages of good quality sleep and nutrition throughout the book, reinforcing the importance of creating good lifestyle choices.
Tasha taps into the all-important values in the section on meaning, providing motivation for change in areas of our life that aren’t currently working as well as they might.
You’ll have already read about her connectivity tree in her article Connecting on our website where she describes the importance of connecting with our social supports, and in the self-care section Tasha reminds us that self-compassion is not a luxury or a privilege, it’s a necessity.
Above everything I’ve already mentioned that I love about this book, the focus on providing resources for supporting others with mental health issues is very helpful. How often do people not know what to say and so, say nothing? Well, Tasha helps give us the language to use and the skills to provide Mental Health First Aid so that you never feel helpless again.
Mental Health and Wellbeing is a short and easy read, only 112 pages long, but packed full of useful information for all of us, because after all, we’re all human and we all need to care for our mental health just as we do every other aspect to our health and wellbeing.
If you would like to purchase this book, or any of the others in Tasha’s catalogue, you can do so by following this link.
Stay tuned for my review of Tasha's book, At Work: A Mental Health Guide for Leaders.