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King’s Lynn Beake Speaks discusses mental health awareness in this week’s column

This week has been mental health awareness week and you can read my feature today when I went to businesses in town to chat about what it means to them as employers.

It was really interesting to sit and have a chat with Lisa and Neil in the Tipsy Teapot and their staff who are so open to talk about the mental health issues we all face and a positive way to approach it within the workplace.

Also an inspiration was Jas at the Tipsy Teapot who has faced adversity and been able to work through and overcome it.

Robin goofing around in Antiques and Outrageous Vintage in Snettisham
Robin goofing around in Antiques and Outrageous Vintage in Snettisham

It has been a busy week with various things happening and I enjoyed a Sunday jaunt out with my pal Robin and you can read the Eat My Words review of Poppylicious.

Robin is 80 and young at heart and has been a good friend to me and it turns out that whenever he pops into the Tipsy Teapot for a bite to eat, it is Jas who greets him and it makes his day.

Friends are really important to be able to trust in times when mental health may be low.

Robin and Jenny Beake lark about
Robin and Jenny Beake lark about

I occasionally get anxious about issues and it tends to manifest itself in then not being able to eat which has a knock on effect as I feel ill. This particularly happens when I do a bigger gig performing musical comedy, Luckily my ever so patient partner is really supportive and is able to recognise how to help.

We can’t fix people and one theme from chatting to the Tipsy staff and also over at the Resist Vegan Kitchen is that we can listen but not put our own spin on others and how they are feeling. It is okay to offer advice but it is not set in stone that the person may follow it.

Mental health affects us all so differently and it is really important to get out of the shame association with talking about it.

So many have suffered from keeping silent about their feelings and I remember chatting to Robin when I was feeling low and he simply said: “You’re going to be okay Jen.”

Today is the day before the big day when I am bridesmaid.

My gal friend understands and accepts me as who I am. When I first decided I needed to get sober she had no clue that I was having a hard time and offering her friendship has made a big difference to me.

As the actor Stephen Fry, once wrote to a woman who was struggling with her own mental health:

“I’ve found that it’s of some help to think of one’s moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather.

“Here are some obvious things about the weather: It’s real.

“It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row. But it will be sunny one day.

“It isn’t under one’s control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.

“One day.”

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