Exceptional! Extraordinary! Appropriate! This goes for any person who can acknowledge that their wellness plan includes mental health and will fight for that safe space.
If you have been following my recent blogs, you are aware that mental health is a focus in our summer sessions of “Safe Spaces for Children/Youth/Young Adults.” It is also a personal goal of mine for improving my overall health as I learn more about trauma, triggers, and strategies.
In the face of the world, Simone Biles, acknowledged that she needed to take a mental health break to be mentally and physically well. This is an example of an unselfish person, a brave person, a champion! Moreover, she thought about of her team and decided that she did not want her unhealthy state to have a negative impact at their chance for winning gold. This is what Servant Leadership is about – the ability and willingness to think and act in the best interest of not only yourself but others first. Putting others first is an example of serving and leading at the highest level.
As a “Sports Nana Supporter,” I have seem the disappointments of my own grandchildren who are very competitive in sports, including gymnastics. The “highs” and “lows” can be brutally stressful. The physical injuries are painful and observable; but the impact on them mentally is a different type of scarring. You fear saying the wrong thing. They may shout out in pain or go silent. It is the silence that worries you the most. Honestly, I have read articles about Sports Psychology just to cope with some of their feelings. I subscribe to and receive daily emails from The Daily Coach – Daily Email from George Raveling & Michael Lombardi. If you have a Nana or are a Nana, you understand when I say that my grandchildren are the joy of my life. Their mental state is always important for healing physically. So, I understand how difficult it can be to take one for the team.
Thus, I salute Simone Biles as a champion on-the-field and off-the-field and yes, as a Servant Leader NOW who has stepped up her leadership call – putting mental health first to heal thyself in support of others. Hopefully, this example that she exhibited to the world, will heal someone else. So I define her as “Exceptional, Extraordinary; an appropriate step that she took.
Our prayers for healing in all areas…
I was surprised before the end of the day (July 28, 2021) that the decision by Simone Biles would be a controversial, political focus in our nation. To me, this is not political. Simone raised her voice to say, “I am not well enough to compete. It is not because of a physical injury; it is because of my mental health condition which can impact my physical state (paraphrased).”
This is an example of why it is so difficult for our young people to trust, confide and ask us for help. We have to be willing to listen, learn, reach out, and be available. People are hurting, mentally. There are not enough qualified therapists and pastors to address this epidemic. So I ask, “How can we build bridges of health that addresses all facets of mental health?”
God was the first to create a safe space for communication with man – in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2; Genesis 3). He developed a wellness plan that includes an extension of Himself (us) for our good; He has given us the Spirit of Truth to guide us (John 16:13). He wants us to freely come to him, it is to everyone who is burdened. He will provide a rest that gives us hope and joy. It is not based on gender, economic status, etc. It is because of His love for us. As His family, he has given to us different gifts to bless another. Using and operating in our gifts will bring other sheep into the fold. By design, we are in need of another; we are to show love and care for another. I did not say it, He did (1Corinthians 13).