We’ve been thinking and working on ways to champion Mental Health and wellbeing for a while now. Mental Health Awareness week 2021 came along and after such a challenging and complex 14 months or so, the conversation on maintaining, recognising, speaking openly about and supporting the various mental health challenges so many of us have gone through feels so much more pertinent and so much more visible than years past. We wanted to openly join the conversation about mental health. Here, our CEO, Tamzyn French, reflects on her own mental wellbeing and shares Kinetika Bloco’s steps to supporting the wellbeing of the Bloco family. Here’s what Tamzyn said:

I have always been blessed to have a really good level of mental health and wellbeing. I have built a lot of habits in my life that help to maintain my mental health, mostly things that I was bought up with, and have seen benefit my life. Exercising, eating healthy, maintaining good sleeping patterns, talking to close friends and family and my faith helps me process life and my sense of purpose.  However, this last year of covid-19 has definitely made me appreciate the precipice that we can all walk along with our mental health. My “normal” life is usually super busy, with all the responsibilities of Bloco and other life activities. The sudden lockdown and a diary full of empty made me frustrated to start with but a little bit depressed after a few weeks. I realised early on I needed to still get myself out of the house, and fortunately I live near some woodland and heath. I started going for long walks, taking time out to breath and think with no real plan except to explore and exercise. It was definitely great for my mind and helped me to appreciate the extra time I had been given and not just rush from one thing to the next.

As an organisation ,this season of Covid-19 has also given us time to stop rushing around as much and think through a few things that we do. We have had more time to look at some of our policies and processes and one of the things we focussed on was Mental Health and Wellbeing. We have seen this highlighted so much this last year. The focus of what we do at Bloco generally is about helping young people to develop their creativity and social skills which normally has a very positive effect on their mental health and wellbeing. But we are taking steps to be more proactive now in how we learn to support our family’s wellbeing. Some of our Leaders have completed Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, Aneira Jenkins has been working on a Wellbeing plan for us and we now include a wellbeing check in on our weekly team meetings.  

We want to make sure Kinetika Bloco is a place where everyone can come as they are, on good days and bad days, and we will be there to support them, listen, encourage, or just give them space to be.

Tamzyn French, CEO