There are lots of reasons why Compassionate Cuppa exists, it’s mission is to uplift mental wellbeing. While I’ve explained the name, I am still a person behind a logo or even a cuppa. I want to share some of that ‘Why’ in that journey – because my work is about building a rapport with you. Intimacy in the sense ‘I look and see you’ that is the connection of human to human relationships. Maybe you will look and see me too and resonate with my story…
I believe that our mental health underlies everything – we have a mind, we are capable of having mental health issues. Everything from how we think, feel and function in our everyday lives. When our mental health is compromised, it can adversely affect how we realise our potential in life – work, leisure, relationships. Our existence can become miserable or meaningless, to the point that we might even question whether life is worth living. It is a tragedy when a person takes their own life, the loss of life affecting the lives of many others.
These beliefs didn’t just come from nowhere. Yes I have professional experience from my career in health and wellbeing. However, I have my own lived experience of major depressive episodes, the first one when I was 16. This was prior to adolescent mental health services even being in existence. I still remember my experiences of being in hospital. Eventually, I did recover but I had fallen out of education and drifted, believing that I wouldn’t amount to anything. So I have been there with my own challenges.
There’s been multiple major depressive episodes since, each one with it’s own pain and suffiering. I was so full of shame, a failure yet desperately wished that I didn’t feel this way. Times where I did not want to live. In the last episode I was still in nursing. I felt like a fraud, a hypocrite for advocating for the mental health of others when I couldn’t sort out my own. I was an expert at beating myself up. If there was a competition in that, I’d win first prize. Learning the compassionate approach made a big difference to me. Along with other things as well, to started to ‘reconnect’ with society again.
The actual inspiration to set up Compassionate Cuppa though was when I helped a lady during a dark time in her life, both physically and mentally. The emotional and practical support combined started with a chat over a cuppa. Listening without judgement. Exploring what was possible and guiding her towards positive change. This was defined by her, what she found helpful and useful. Each session was different; we also had some fun working together. I realised that my passion still remains within mental health, drawing from both my professional and personal experiences. Turning adversity into hope.
Therefore, I want to create something that values that connection, with compassion and courage in that journey. The focus of Compassionate Cuppa is bigger and wider than just me – a compassionate community. That community would also have a role in mental health prevention, as this could help avert ill mental health, crisis, self-harm and ultimately suicide. Compassionate Cuppa is set up as a Community Interest Company, which means for impact, to uplift mental wellbeing and make the world a better place.
I hope that this helps to explain some of ‘My Why’. There is no shame in my disclosure of lived experience of mental health issues. My own insecurity arises around people not being interested in what I’m trying to achieve. However, showing vulnerability is OK, it’s part of my humanity and authenticity. I’m leaning into my own discomfort! This is my courage. The values that Compassionate Cuppa stands for, I practise them too.
Ling Salter of Compassionate Cuppa offers mentoring to individuals to optimise their emotional wellbeing. Feel better and live life well. Find out more or to book your first FREE session on https://www.compassionatecuppa.co.uk/personal