It’s inspired me to create this manifesto; a manifesto being defined as “a public declaration of policy and aims.”
By openly sharing my “why” I hope to make clear to you, dear reader, what it is about mental health that really matters to me. Why I feel so passionately about Project HeatherED, and what’s kept me consistently publishing these past six months.
Why Becoming Better is the Heart of Project HeatherED
A Mental Health Manifesto
I believe we are more than our mental health.
I believe as human beings we are inherently worthy.
Our value is no more tied to our physical bodies than it is to our state of mind.
Instead, I believe that what matters most is our emotional intelligence. Being Open-minded and open-hearted, if we’re willing to learn – to improve, expand, and grow – then there’s always hope of becoming better.
I believe that it’s important to explore ways we can become happier; to maximise our mental wellness.
I believe we deserve better than a mediocre mental existence.
I believe that our dreams are not determined by any diagnosis.
We can have anxiety and be amazing.
We can feel depressed and, deep down, still dream of a happier future.
We can fight to control our our dangerous desires – be they food or fitness, drugs or drink – and also fight to feel truly free.
I believe a healthy mind is linked to having a healthy body, but that doesn’t always look how we’d expect.
I believe that a perfect body is one in which we feel at home.
I believe we can learn to feel truly beautiful; to become comfortable in our skin, to overcome our mental, physical, and emotional barriers to having a positive body image.
I believe that we can overcome our fears of being judged by others.
I believe that by daring to be fully ourselves – by being vulnerable – we can become better at self-acceptance.
I believe it’s possible to get to where what we think matters, first and foremost; where what others think doesn’t matter so much after all.
I believe in self-determination; in making informed choices.
I believe that we can choose to take control and manage our mental wellness.
I believe that how we manage our mental health is a personal decision; that we deserve respect, whatever we decide.
I believe that medication can play an important role in helping us feel better.
I also believe in taking responsibility for our own recovery; for our happiness.
I believe we each have our own definition of success. Knowing what we want, we can then design our own blueprint for the life we wish to lead.
I believe we choose the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, our lives and the world we live in. We have the ability to rewrite it at any moment, making it better, brighter, and more beautiful.
I believe that we can help each other to become more.
I believe that by working together, we grow in confidence, increase our emotional fitness, and our psychological resilience.
As we learn more about ourselves and how our minds work, I believe we’re becoming better, each and every day.
This statement is a work-in-progress. Still, as of this moment, I’ve given it my best shot. I think it goes some way to explain why I’m driven to contribute to the conversation around mental health.
My manifesto is also a declaration of how I strive to live my own life; how I aim to value myself and others. I do so imperfectly, of course. I regularly fall short of my own ambitious standards and that’s okay.
I, too, am a work-in-progress. My manifesto makes room for mistakes. I hope it explains why I’m driven to invest so much time and energy in this project, and why it matters so much to me.
As I’ve already said, I truly believe we can become better.