21st March 2023
⬇️ I want to talk about brain stretching.
Not only am I professionally qualified in the area of Neuroplasticity, but I also live within Neurodiverse ADHD thinking and processing. I want to increase the importance of brain stretching to help reduce the risk of conditions such as dementia and depression.
I have lived experience of dementia - learnt and loved in my beloved dearest Gran, who taught me so, so much. Perhaps the most in her last years living with dementia.
💡 Neuroplasticity: also known as neural plasticity (or brain plasticity), is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganisation.
🧠 It is when the brain is rewired to function in a way that differs from how it previously functioned.
This is where Mental Health Therapy and Coaching can help 👋 Hi. In order for us to rewire our brains, we must first identify what isn't working well for us (that can be the hardest part).
By starting to identify unhelpful and negative thought patterns and bringing them into awareness, we can start to create change for the better 》new and more helpful ways of thinking and coping with situations.
I view my ADHD as a huge strength in my role as a Mental Health Therapist and Coach because I am able to view a person's problem(s), and identify their perception of it quickly 》I connect to the human and work from the inside out.
You would find it hard to lie to me in session or trick me, when I am solely focused on you 》better health.
We gain new experiences as we grow into adulthood. Some connections are strengthened while others are eliminated - this process is known as synaptic pruning.
✨️ Neurons that are used frequently will develop stronger connections.
☠️ Those that are rarely or never used eventually die.
💚 By developing new connections and pruning away weak ones, the brain can adapt to the changing environment 》POSITIVELY
Isabelle's Story: Client experience
Isabelle Carys Mitchell
1st April 2020 - 27th April 2020
TRIGGER WARNING: Baby Loss
Fundraising Link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/isabellecarys
"As the days, weeks, and months passed after Isabelle’s death, I found myself learning how to cope with not having Isabelle around, not having that baby I carried for so long and not fulfilling those dreams of experiencing family life with Isabelle".
"Everything in life had changed. I returned to work
soon after, as I wanted some normality in my life, especially as very little in life was normal during that time due to the lockdowns. I found myself finding every day a challenge. Getting out of bed was
tough, getting through the day was like carrying a heavy bag of bricks with me. I became an expert at putting a fake smile on my face and a thick layer of blusher and foundation, just to get through the day."
"How do I cope with grief and manage to survive in the world without my baby?"
"During the introduction phone call, Lucy immediately helped me to feel at ease. We connected straight away."
My Whole Self Day
14th March 2023
My Whole Self is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England’s campaign for workplace culture change, culminating on My Whole Self Day.
As a community of Mental Health Professionals we want organisations to empower employees to bring their whole self to work. By bringing together diversity and inclusion with health and wellbeing we can drive positive transformation in workplace mental health and performance.
We know teams that feel safe and connected work better together. People and teams are at their most effective and creative when everybody feels psychologically safe and is seen, heard, and valued.
Over the last four years, MHFAE have provided a range of free tools and activities for organisations to use to start changing their workplace culture and empower their employees to bring their whole selves to work - any day of the year.
Oh, hi 👋
It's been a minute.
I was hacked.
It felt shit.
I wrote about it on here. I spoke about it on LinkedIn and utilised my connections (and kindness).
The time away from business socials has allowed me to reflect on how much I really enjoy this page and writing about how I feel. It's my space.
More so than I realised.
It's like a little seed 🌱 I planted in October 2020 and nurtured into the small community it is today.
During my time away, I was also able to reflect on people (more so than usual):
- the people around me
- professional connections
All I know is that some people give a shit about you and some people don't - and either way, that's ok. Because people teach you more about themselves in times of overwhelm or struggle.
I appreciate the people who shared my business on their socials as a website link, who reached out to make sure I was ok. The people that read my book and write reviews for me whilst I was feeling down and disconnected. I appreciate the clients who asked about me at the end of a session or replied to my email alert - my page had gone, but I was very much still here.
Sometimes when you don't see a person for a while - remember they are still there. Behind the scenes, going through their own challenges relevant to them.
Check in on them.
It means a lot.
I don't plan on going anywhere again, anytime soon.
Oh, and to the person, people or malicious software that tried to wipe me and my business out. You chose the wrong woman to play with!
I love you all and treasure your connections more than you perhaps realised.
It's good to be back.
Anxiety | Resilience
What a week it's been.
This week has been extremely stressful. It didn't help that my social media platforms were hacked in the early hours of Monday morning which undoubtedly started the wave of anxiety I am finally recovering from as I write this.
As a self-employed person, I was worried. How would I get all 6.5k followers back? I had lost two channels of income, whilst I slept.
Yet, I somehow managed to focus enough to start the training session. Not enough to eat my coco pops (let alone consider a coffee). Those physical symptoms of anxiety took hold of my body quickly.
I said "Hi Everyone 👋" as I always do and saw beautiful people smiling back at me. This enabled me to feel safe and I switched into a resiliency engrained deep within me. I went on to share my experience with the two groups of people I was training this week when talking about stress. I used a very real, life event to educate and process how mental health is health and anxiety takes over sometimes, perhaps when we least expect it (or want it).
We all have mental health regardless of what position or sector we work in and my stress container had overspilled first thing on a Monday morning. I was managing a level of anxiety and just about preventing it from turning into a panic attack before 7am.
Not only have I written a book about resilience and published it on Amazon last month, but I have learnt more, in the self-employed world to see myself through other people's eyes. I will listen to what people say about me more, especially during adversity.
I am often described as a calming presence (Clinical Hypnotherapist | Psychotherapist) even when, on the inside I can feel my world (and business) falling apart this week.
It's fascinating how we gain perspective of a situation isn't it. Unexpectedly sometimes. Perhaps it's this very concept that can also save a person's life.
One familiar feeling.
One kind review.
The feedback from this week's work at Monzo Bank means a great deal to me. 💚
I published my book in June 2022 and I feel proud. I have sold over 240 copies on Amazon already and received 5* reviews too.
It felt easy to write a book about myself, surprisingly. Perhaps Jennifer made it feel easier than it was? It took some time to edit the content a few times, especially over sensitive areas in my life but I am so pleased I did it.
My book is a short read that will encourage you to think about your own life and the challenges you have faced previously or are going through now. The book will create perspective on resilience and hope during the most difficult of times. Why not have a read and let me know what you think with an Amazon review.
Thanks so much for your support.
Facebook | Instagram got HACKED
26th July 2022
Facebook | Instagram got HACKED
26th July 2022
I write this with frustration and sadness that not only has my personal Facebook account been hacked but so has my business page on Instagram - a page I created in October 2020 and grew to a platform with almost 4,000 followers.
Existing clients who use the platform(s) have been contacted and informed.
I am actively trying to retrieve my account(s).
The Facebook HAVE A WORD page can still be publicly viewed, thankfully. Although I am unable to manage the page due to my lack of control and access with my personal account - that it is a page created from.
I have reflected over the past 48hrs to what it means to lose something that you have worked hard on and spent time, energy and shared personal reflections to help others with (as well as yourself). It was a platform that worked, engaged and rarely received trolling or hassle. In fact, it was a joy to manage.
I have used the Miss Elaine article to help me process what happened to my accounts and remember that this was not a personal thing to have happened to me and I am able to use my blog for what I intended it for - more often now too.
I can write here instead. I do not need to be on Instagram if I don't want to create another account - I am still undecided on that (this side of my holiday anyway).
I really enjoy sharing my reviews and recommendations - the feedback after I receive, after my training deliveries especially. I can still do that here and on platforms like LinkedIn if I want to.
I feel better when I write. When I have a voice, on my own terms via social media. This blog provides that for me just like Instagram and Facebook did. If people want to get in touch - they still can on my directory's pages and directly via my website.
I may have lost access to two social channels but al l is not lost.
I am sorry if this has happened to you too. Please use the article linked above on Miss-Elaineous page to help with specific tips and support to reclaim your account - or try to.
I am so proud to announce the recent partnership with SASH.
SASH is a youth homelessness charity that works across York, North and East Yorkshire.
SASH help young people aged 16-25 who are facing homelessness.
SASH do not run a hostel or own any property. The accommodation SASH offer is through Night stop and Supported Lodgings services, which rely on volunteer hosts who offer a spare room in their own home. SASH services are as much about supporting young people to resolve the problems which have led to them becoming homeless as they are about putting a roof over their head. Part of this support is provided through the SASH Active programme.
Those SASH support are referred by Local Authorities and other partner agencies. In the East Riding, we also run a Resettlement scheme in partnership with The Hinge Centre in Bridlington.
SASH is a trading name of Safe and Sound Homes, a registered charity (no. 1054890) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (no. 3179309).
SASH are governed by a board of trustees, elected from our membership.
T h e r a p y
C o a c h i n g
T r a i n i n g
[Private Appointment Only]
I am so excited (and proud) to share my vision that came to life last week: APPROVED !
I have been working incredibly hard since 2018 to create my business to be exactly what I wanted it to be - with a clear vision that mental health services should be readily available for anyone and everyone as often as possible.
I wanted to establish a warm and professional space to work in both online and in person - a space to feel comfortable and at ease.
🤍 Lounge vibes
🤍 Turn up in your slippers vibe
🤍 Not give a shit what you look like vibe
🤍 Safe | Private vibes
I am pleased to say that I am now working in private practice from my home in St Albans exactly how I dreamt I would do. Keep a look out for the lounge office on my stories (and posts) from now on, where I will be sharing my graduation in clinical hypnotherapy and how you can enquire.
It really is a great day to start a new week with continued, endless possibilities like this.
I am proudly listed as a Therapist as well as a Coach within the directories.
The team are super passionate about the promotion of benefits within complementary and alternative healing/ therapies.
You might have a health condition that could benefit from a form of therapy alongside medical treatment, or you may be looking for ways to reduce stress. You may simply be looking to better your over well-being.
Whatever your reason, know that it is possible and s upport is available. I am right here.
Life Coach Directory
Life Coach Directory
Life Coach Directory made it their mission to connect you with a qualified coach . They wanted to make it easier for you to connect with a coach for whatever change you’re looking for - whether it’s in your personal life or professional life. Life Coach Directory connects you with coaches across the UK while sharing articles, events and self-help resources to support you on your journey.
Whether you’re ready to hire a coach, want to learn more about the benefits or are simply interested in personal development, their aim is to be the hand to guide you on your way.
NLP Therapy and Advanced Coaching
For the past four months I have been upskilling in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP incorporates a set of language, sensory-based interventions and behaviour-modification techniques.
These are intended to help improve:
- client awareness
- client confidence
- client communication skills
- client social actions/ interactions
NLP is a pseudoscientific approach to communication, personal development and psychotherapy (created in the 70s). The goals of NLP are to help the client understand that the way a person views the world affects how the person behaves in the world and sometimes, it is beneficial to challenge and change behaviours from the past to help us in the future. I am so pleased and proud of myself for qualifying - NLP Practitioner Certificate | Advanced Coaching Certificate.
March | 2021
F E E D B A C K
Me: "Can I ask why I wasn't chosen as the Training provider please - feedback helps me to reflect and do better. I want to grow my business knowing what clients, like yourself are looking for."
Potential client: "Sure. You have the skill set, no question. But you have no website Lucy, with no reviews or examples of your work."
That very day - I made my own website. Although small and less fancy than some - it allows people to see more of what I do and who I am.
The increase of work was noticeably different by the beginning of 2019. I listened. I grew.
It's a pretty vulnerable space - putting yourself out there to hear other people's opinion of you.
Receiving feedback from clients and colleagues helps me to become more self-aware.
I gain knowledge in my strengths and address the areas I need to work on more. I also get to see how others perceive me.
Feedback helps people to see how their own behaviours might impact other people.
As a Professional Training Instructor for over 15 years - this is an area I feel very confident within.
It's an important part of any teacher/ tutor/ training qualification too.
Knowing my abilities, undoubtedly helps me in my role as a Mental Health Therapist - when challenging the difficult emotions, thoughts and feelings within a client.
When supporting people through recovery or difficult chapters in their lives.
As a Professional Training Instructor - increasing my own skill set and using my experiences to help other address and reach their full potential is heart warming.
My services have been personally and professionally recommended by word of mouth for the past 3 years, since Founding my own business - and that makes me feel like celebrating my successes.
Have A Word 😉
It works wonders !
Roll of Honour December 2020
Roll of Honour December 2020
MHFA England and Have A Word are delighted to let you know that we have been recognised on the UK Social Enterprise Roll of Honour for our work on supporting people throughout the pandemic. This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of all staff, Instructor Members and the entire MHFA England community, allowing us to move closer to our mission of training one in ten people in mental health and awareness skills, despite the challenges brought about by coronavirus.
Instagram October 2020
I have recently created an Instagram page @have_a_word_ which feels so great. I truly enjoy connecting with people in as many ways as possible. Thanks to social media like Facebook and Instagram, I am able to show even more of my business and the person behind the scenes. My Instagram page especially shares my Therapist journey alongside my thoughts day to day.
If you would like to give me a Follow then click on the link here.
For more information on Mental Health Coaching and Therapy, please click here.
Take a Moment
For the last 10 years, photographer Ray Burmiston has been asking his famous subjects to pause during their shoot, close their eyes and take a moment. The idea was to help them gather themselves, imagine that they were somewhere calm and refresh their connection to the camera. The result was a poignant moment captured. Recognising that we need to come together as a collective to take a moment right now, Ray is inviting us to upload our own portraits to join the gallery, while raising money for mental health charity Mind.
Have a read over what it is all about and how you can join in:
Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem and campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
World Mental Health Day - 10th October 2020
World Mental Health Day - 10th October 2020
Get ready for World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2020, as we call on everyone to open up to mental health, to talk and to listen.
We all deserve to feel safe and supported when talking about our mental health. But too often, mental health stigma leaves people feeling isolated and ashamed. At worst, it prevents people getting support, finding employment or having open conversations.
Supporting someone during Covid-19
Lots of us are feeling worried about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. While the focus is often on physical health, it's important to remember the impact on our mental health too. You don't need to be an expert on mental health to be there for someone. Think about using our three top tips:
1) Check in
You might not be able to meet face-to-face, but picking up the phone, having a video call, starting a group chat or messaging someone on social media lets them know you are there to talk and ready to listen.
2) Listen and reflect
Whether you have a mental health problem or not, this will be a challenging time for our mental health and wellbeing. If someone opens up to you, remember that you don't need to fix things or offer advice. Often just listening, and showing you take them seriously, can help someone to manage.
3) Ask questions
Ask how people are managing, and ask again if you're worried they aren't sharing the full picture. Asking again, with interest, can help someone to open up and explore what they're feeling.
I interact as frequently as possible on my Facebook page, reading messages that people privately send me or publicly comment. I am thankful for them all.
The Facebook page is a training and awareness page supporting mental health education. This includes vulnerable and personal feelings being consistently shared - all disrespectful or inappropriate comments shall be removed.
If you or someone you know needs support or is in crisis, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email@example.com - the Samaritans are open 24/7.
Thank you for your support.
Depression and Me
29th June 2019
Cynthia Rowe, Head Teacher at How Wood Primary School and Nursery in St Albans, discusses how Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England training has helped create a community within their school where mental health is destigmatised and staff are confident and comfortable opening up to their colleagues.
Creating a stigma free school
S C H O O L S
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a mental health skills and awareness programme.
Through training and campaigning, I equip people with the skills they need to support their own
and others’ wellbeing through an excellent level of training.
Have A Word offer a range of evidence-based MHFA England training courses from awareness raising to skill development - the Adult MHFA Two Day course is the most popular training and is designed for everyone !
Through this course I take people on a journey to understand what mental health is. I discuss how we all have mental health, like physical health and I teach people how to look after their own and others’ wellbeing.
Because the workplace is where many people spend most of their time, I provide in-house training
and consultancy to organisations of all shapes and sizes - including schools.
Not only have I taught How Wood staff, but also welcomed staff members from St Albans & St Stephens Infant School, Bernard's Heath Infant School Bernard's Heath Junior School, Alban City School, Cunningham Hill Junior School, Oakwood Primary School and Park Street School - St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Mind in Mid Herts is a local mental health voluntary service, which I proudly support as part of their Stepping Stones project. The aim is to provide a service which will help prepare for discharge by ensuring relevant knowledge of local community support agencies. The scheme also offers up to 8 weeks one to one community support where required. I support a focused organisation and help maintain the social inclusion - building individuals confidence and self-esteem.
1st January 2020
WOW, it's almost done NYD - today has been reflective.
I've been at home with my family all day, in my pyjamas just breathing and smiling. I thought about 2019 and all that it was.
I am so positive for 2020 - I feel ready.
I will work harder on caring LESS about the people who are nothing.
Really, nothing - nothing to me and my vision. Which is super hard for someone who cares about everyone and thinks that thoughts are a lesson in one way or another, even when they come from people who are unkind and project negatively onto me.
I try and remember that it's always about them, not who I am.
Changing how I react will always be a process. Why can't everyone be kinder? Especially women. Especially people I once called friends. It's just the way it is.
2020 - my fire is brighter than ever. Keep focused. Keep kind.
Happy New Year
Please search @HaveAWord2 on Facebook for more like this.
"Where's Your Head At?"
is calling for employers and politicians to commit to treating mental and physical health equally in the workplace.
The campaign is led by Bauer Media UK, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and mental health campaigner Natasha Devon MBE.
The group is leading calls from the public and employers for a change in legislation to ensure the Health and Safety First-Aid Regulations 1981 are explicit that First Aid obligations relate to both our mental and physical health.
"Where's Your Head At?" is also calling for organisations to strive to implement the Thriving at Work review’s six core standards for a mentally healthy workplace, which include raising mental health awareness and encouraging conversation about the support available.
At the centre of the campaign is a vision of a mentally healthy working world where people’s mental health is supported and protected, and where wellbeing is at the heart of all we do. In this world:
- We bring our whole selves to work
- We can talk openly about our mental health
- We are not afraid to ask for support when we need it
- And we thrive in work and life
Its calls are supported by a public petition and Workplace Manifesto, which continue to receive overwhelming support from the general public, employers and politicians. To date over 200,000 people have signed the petition, whilst 80 MPs and around 500 employers have given their backing to the campaign’s Manifesto.
@HaveAWord2 Facebook community is growing each week. I created the Facebook page when registering the business in September 2018.
Follow me, with a LIKE to keep up to date with my Psychodynamic Counselling journey, Volunteering or to read some of my reflective thoughts surrounding Mental Health.
While it is not possible to alter the format of licensed products where content is approved by MHFA International, MHFA England are currently looking at whether there could be more flexibility with other products and I will update you as soon as I have any news.
You can find useful information about the symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you feel unwell on the NHS website. The current guidance is that you should check symptoms online, rather than call NHS 111. You can also find regular updates on the Public Health England website - www.gov.uk
Please continue to monitor the government guidance and keep yourself updated as the situation develops.
While the coronavirus infection is not serious for most people, I know that this is an anxious time for many people and that working from home can also increase feelings of social isolation. For those trained as a Mental Health First Aider, you have an important role to play in supporting others who are struggling with the uncertainty and challenges that coronavirus has created. It’s also really important to look after your own health and wellbeing, so please prioritise self-care during this challenging time.
Mental Health: Working From Home
As more organisations move to online working, human connections are more important than ever. Here are some ways to support your mental health, reduce feelings of isolation, and feel connected with colleagues while working remotely.
NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS and the care sector during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our doctors, nurses, those working in local authorities and other professionals, will be able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer.
This programme enables volunteers to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, which is permitted under the new rules announced by the Government on 23rd March 2020.
Join me and sign up below:
NHS Volunteer Responders
Every Mind Matters
Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. We have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
Answer 5 quick questions to get your free plan with tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control.
New Guidance | People of Colour and Black colleagues
Social enterprise Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has today published new guidance on supporting the mental health of People of Colour and Black people in the workplace.
The free guidance document provides advice on how organisations, managers, and colleagues can be better allies to People of Colour and Black colleagues. Created with support from Business in the Community (BITC) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the guidance comes after recent research from YouGov found that half of Black Britons say they are as likely to have experienced racism in the workplace as they are in the street.
The guidance is released as part of the next stage of MHFA England's My Whole Self campaign, which calls for inclusive and empowering workplace culture change. Research from the campaign found that less than half (43%) of UK employees think their colleagues know the 'real' them. The research also found that almost one in five workers – some 6.5 million people – feel they cannot be their whole self at work.
To download the free guidance, click here.