I wanted to post something for World Suicide Prevention Day – today Saturday 10 September 2016 – and I thought that sharing some thoughts from comedian and veteran mental health campaigner Ruby Wax might fit the bill, having heard her speak earlier this week.
Wax was in Manchester on Thursday at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016. When asked how her mental health journey had begun she replied, “Do you want the real story or the funny story? This audience didn’t pay so I’ll give them the the real story…” However, her account was of course filled with humour and anecdote (“I once interviewed Donald Trump – I should have taken him out then.”)
Ruby trained as a psychotherapist but failed to complete the number of required patient hours. As she remarked: “I was a terrible therapist. I used to ask clients to cut to the punchline.” She settled on ‘mindfulness’ as an approach having tried a number of ‘alternative therapies’ including marrying herself and re-birthing (“It’s supposed to be better the second time. It isn’t.”)
What is mindfulness? When asked, Wax replied with a story, explaining that it was about being aware of what was going on for you: “I missed the solar eclipse in Australia – a once in 200 years event – because I was thinking of an angry email I was going to send to The White Company because they sent me a single duvet instead of a double.”