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Break down the barriers!

Earkick Ambassador Jamal Rizvi On How To Make Mental Health Attractive.

Initially, Jamal – a mental health social worker, podcaster, painter and blogger-  got involved in mental health through volunteering. He found it so grounding and meaningful, that he decided to become a full time professional. Next to pursuing his current degree Jamal now works with a multidisciplinary group of health professionals and takes care of a small group of people in the Hackney community of East London. He sources activities for them such as gardening, singing, yoga or painting groups that they can join to regain their mental wellbeing and reconnect with their community. The goal is to create safe spaces for people struggling with mental health issues. Jamal helps folks establish healthy and easy-to-start habits such as going for a walk outdoors and supports them with the assessment of their financial situation.

Check out more about his story, his work and his mission in below video interview:

Video-interview with Earkick Ambassador Jamal from Hackney, East London

Mental Health Is A Gem, But Not A Luxury

As the world’s first male Earkick Ambassador Jamal shares why he joined the movement: “The fact that the Earkick app is free and accessible on the app store to anyone with a phone immediately breaks down that barrier that mental health is a luxury.” He’s been witnessing the incredibly long waiting line people in crisis have to put up with to obtain mental health services in the UK. A lack of resources and stigma keep people from getting support earlier. That’s why Jamal is on a mission to make the conversation about mental health the new normal, well aware of the fact that proactively reaching out to others is an underestimated superpower. 

Creating Fun Content Each “Whensday”

With If not now, when? Jamal has created a smart and fun blog full of ideas, stories and playful tips around giving people the tools to talk about their mental health.

“When something is stigmatized, it naturally means people don’t talk about it. But just because people don’t talk about it doesn’t mean people don’t WANT to talk about it. And if people don’t talk about it, they won’t really know what to say when the opportunity actually comes up if they need to support someone or themselves.”

Jamal’s blog offers a reference, easy-to-use templates and copy-and-paste pieces to help people get comfortable with having much needed conversations. Every “Whensday” you’ll find a new idea to inspire your journey with mental health in an engaging way. You’ll discover that talking about mental health doesn’t always have to be the same tips. It can be edgy, controversial, more viral and more shareable:”To destigmatize we need to get people to share. People share when there are emotions involved, when they are excited, in awe or even shocked.” To Jamal mental health is more than anxiety, depression and panic attacks. He wants us all to expand the definition of mental health by including a much wider, colorful picture.

Screenshot of a fun personality type quiz from Jamal’s blog

Understanding Yourself Better Is Key

When Jamal was offered a private health care package by his previous workplace, he chose to use it towards therapy – a resource he otherwise would not have been able to afford. Therapy felt very natural and taught him how important the freedom of expressing oneself in the presence of an attentive listener is. He also learned ways to balance workplace mental health and mental health outside of work in an enjoyable way, giving burnout no chance to creep into his life. In therapy he realized that no lofty goals are needed to embark on the journey to master mental health. The small objective of “I want to understand myself better” was enough to let Jamal relax and get the best out of the therapy sessions.

Group of young friends dressed casually making selfie photo sitting together in the modern cafe

Making Mental Health Attractive 

Taking care of one’s mental health is a real asset, something to be proud of, something to share with joy. And it all starts with making mental health visible, measurable and manageable.

“Because mental health is so wrapped up with feelings and emotions, the specific emotion we experience in the moment feels infinite. We forget that last week or last month we actually felt a very different way. Seeing our trajectory over time helps remind us of the bigger picture.”

Not knowing your triggers and what causes your heart rate to go up or what circumstances lead to high-stress situations, leaves you with only reactive and defensive responses in your daily lives. This applies to your private life, your work life and your social life.

Jamal wants everyone to be proactive and in control of their overall health. Ready to take the drivers’ seat and master your own journey to great mental health?

For more inspiration, follow Jamal on his socials or sign up for his blog:

Download the Earkick mood & anxiety tracker now. It’s free forever.

And if you’re interested in becoming an Earkick Ambassador, reach out to us via hello@earkick.com!

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