Mental Health Monster is a CIC (Community Interest Company), working to shatter the stigma, break barriers and guide people towards better mental health through methods of education and conversation. Through a mixture of bespoke services, Mental Health Monster is highly innovative in its field by a key identification of how mental health education and awareness is well received by utilising instagram and infographics to get the message out quickly but effectively.
On World Mental Health Day 2019, Nathan Jackson reached a pivotal moment in his ambitions to raise conversations about improvement of mental health; “I was seeing everyone post on facebook and twitter and sharing stuff about mental health awareness.” From this point Nathan believed he could go one step further; “We can start educating people and start teaching them how to manage their mental health, and work towards actually chipping away at the barriers and stigmas that people are talking about.” This led to Nathan starting a petition to get mental health into the Welsh school curriculum; “A month later, I met up with Welsh Minister for Education at the time, Kirsty Williams. She showed me all the plans”.
Nathan has worked hard to ensure the company is sustainable; “I have a bit of a thing about asking people for money for stuff to push education that they deserve, they should have it for free”. One of the core elements of the company is being self sufficient financially through their services and not having to rely on donations, as Nathan feels this is counteractive to the ethos of Mental Health Monster.
Such achievements for the brand can also be highlighted with Nathan’s recent trip to St George’s Park in Burton Upon Trent, where the England football team train, to create content; “It was a pretty key moment, I actually felt like an entrepreneur”. Another identifiable moment for the company was its release of its hip-hop track “Hold on” to remind people things can get better. The artists featured shared their personal stories to encourage mental health conversation. In terms of key moments for Mental Health Monster, Nathan tends to appreciate the small ones the most. “There have been little wins, the small wins I tend to focus on, but it’s crazy when you step back and look at it as a whole”.
So why is the mental health stigma so prevalent despite companies like Mental Health Monster? Nathan holds the mindset that people are too late to begin the mental health discussion; “We tend to hold this idea where we say, my doors always open for a chat if you need, or I’m here to help if you’re struggling. But I think a mental health conversation needs to start before that”. So what can we do to change this? “I think people need to start being intentional about doing things for the good of their mental health and start building toolkits that way to prioritise their mental health”. As well as this, Nathan wants to raise awareness for the differences between mental health and mental illness, which he thinks is not identified clearly enough. “Mental health is simply the health of your brain and the health of your mind. Whereas there are over 210 mental illnesses and mental health conditions. Each one carries different symptoms, different weights. People get the terms mental health and mental illness mixed up, leading to a lot of the stigma”. Differentiating between the two and eradicating the stigma has been a core challenge for Nathans educational mission.
Mental health discussion continues to be challenging for many. Nathan stands by the idea that we should talk about our mental health, even when it is good; “people only speak about it when they’re struggling or having a bad mental health day, but if you’re feeling amazing, that is still part of the mental health conversation”. The only way we can shatter the stigma in Nathan’s eyes is by prioritising our mental health; “once we do that, the stigma will sort of naturally fall into a hole, I think we are getting there.”
So where will Nathan and Mental Health Monster’s future be headed? With his master’s degree in strategic marketing finishing in September of this year, Nathan has had to think about how to apply his company to the world outside of University; “over the next 18 months we’re going to be growing our team, getting in some volunteers and working on improving our social contact”. He wants to tailor the Mental Health Monster approach by conducting more human led research such as focus groups and target groups, going out to speak to people to provide a more tailored approach. “For me personally, I want to write a book on University life and mental health at University, whilst also continuing my mental health research. We’ll just see what the future holds, it’s quite exciting, but also quite nervy”.
If you are suffering with your Mental health, get in touch with Mental Health Monster:
Or contact the Samaritans Helpline: 116 123