Monday, 23 May 2016

Mental Health Awareness Week: Top Relationships for John Lawlor

Note: my FINAL VLOG from MHAW is here: https://youtu.be/6MGCmccwh7g

By John Lawlor, CEO of Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation NHS Trust, Twitter: @johnlawlorNTW

#1 
Name: Julie Lawlor
Why have you chosen this person?
Because of the fact that they are my best friend, lover and my greatest support when times are tough.
Your relationship e.g. Mum, Cousin, friend, partner etc.:  
My wife
How long have you known one another? 
13 years
How did you first meet?
At a job interview! She was a candidate and I was on the interview Panel
What was your first thought/opinion on this person?
Bright, friendly and a really strong candidate for the role. (But don’t tell her I said that!).
Has this changed?  
Yes, but only for the better.
List three highlights from your relationship so far.
That’s a difficult one… … as there are so many (yuk!)
Has there been any low or difficult moments in your relationship? If yes, how have these been overcome?
Yes, there have been difficult times; not really in our relationship.  But when my severe depressive spells have taken over me and led me to push Julie away and make her feel frightened and alone.
Do you have any differences of opinion, views or beliefs? If yes, what are they?
Not really – other than that Julie feels I work too hard and don’t have a good work-life balance.
List three things you have in common. 
A weird sense of humour; our dog Murphy; and a lively debate on whether Elvis is dead or still alive!!
Is there anything you're looking forward to with this person?
The rest of my life (another yuk!)
Describe this person with one word.
Perfect (yuk #3)
Write one sentence of something you would like to say to this person.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you (try to) make me happy when clouds are grey (more yuk’s than In can count!)
#2 
Name: Can’t say (see why below)
Why have you chosen this person?
Because they helped me to begin to like myself  at least a bit. 
Your relationship e.g. Mum, Cousin, friend, partner etc.  
A professional who supported me with my mental health.
How long have you known one another?  
Between 1 and 5 years.
How did you first meet? 
 At a consultation.
What was your first thought/opinion on this person?
I think I am going to get on well with them and they seem to ‘get me’.
Has this changed?  
No.
List three highlights from your relationship so far.
A professional one.  An ability to have a laugh. A great help.
Has there been any low or difficult moments in your relationship? If yes, how have these been overcome?
Only when I was being helped to challenge my low view of myself and working with me to surface why and begin to come to terms with it
Do you have any differences of opinion, views or beliefs? If yes, what are they?
No, not really – other than when I was very low and so not really wanted to engage.
List three things you have in common. 
A passion to help people who need our support.
A commitment to continuous improvement.
A sense of humour.
Is there anything you're looking forward to with this person?
Ironically, not needing to see them in future! 
Describe this person with one word. 
Expert.
Write one sentence of something you would like to say to this person.
A highly skilled professional who is supportive, empathic and always optimistic.