Positive Mental Health – Overcoming mental health problems

Positive Mental Health – Overcoming mental health problems

Author: Dr Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder
Review by: Ian Pettigrew

This is an interesting book, looking more like a journal with its hardback cover and elasticated strap. The authors are really clear about the purpose of the book; both to raise awareness of mental health and to help people “improve, nurture, and protect their mental health”. But there is another purpose at play here, and one that I wholeheartedly endorse. On the
topic of resilience, I find myself constantly reinforcing the importance of talking, of having a conversation. It is incredibly simple, but something that people often feel ill-equipped to do when the topic turns to mental health. I really like that this book positions itself as a handbook to help facilitate those conversations, and to equip the reader to ask someone how they really are.

I read the book from front to back, although I suspect that many people will dip into chapters in a less sequential manner, diving into chapters that resonate with them. The book covers a wide range of subjects:

Part 1 – Understanding your mental health (the big picture) 

Part 2 – Taking charge of your mental health (including topics such as sleep, eating, alcohol, exercise, loneliness, social media, and bereavement)

Part 3 – Understanding specific mental health conditions (including burnout, trauma, anxiety, depression, and suicide)

Part 4 – Mental health, transition, and times of change (including parenthood, menopause, leaving home, empty nest syndrome, and relationship breakdown)

Part 5 – Your mental health at work (including creating a work environment that supports mental health, what your employer can do to help, and wellness recovery action plans)

Part 6 – What to do next

 My only disappointment was with the referencing; I think the authors have done a great job in citing the sources of any statistics used and I would love to see that extended to the rest of the content so that statements such as “There is strong evidence that this treatment will help process the emotional elements of the traumatic experience…” references the evidence. This is really useful book, and I think that would help to broaden and deepen its impact.

It is great to see that all proceeds from the book are going to The Rowland Hill Fund and Mind, so both the contents and the proceeds are helping with positive mental health. Many HR/L&D functions have a library of useful books for managers, and this book would be really helpful to have as a resource. This is a helpful handbook for people’s own mental health, and a helpful toolkit to equip people to have impactful conversations about mental health.

Ian Pettigrew, Kingfisher Coaching

Published by LID