Bestselling Author Matthew Haig speaks out for mental health education reform

Tortoise Media continue to organise and host incredible events – this time allowing Tortoise members to have a conversation with bestselling author Matthew Haig.

Matthew has just released his latest novel “The Midnight Library” today, which has jumped straight to the top of my reading list, prioritised over the novel I am currently in the middle of!

The concept for the book is incredible and the video link below gives more detail, but I recommend purchasing immediately and entering blind!

For those who do not know Matthew, he is the author of many incredible books, including my favourite novel of all time, The Humans.

Matt fills his novels with the heart and soul of someone who has faced overwhelming negative emotion, overcame it, and become stronger for it, determined to use his journey to help others.

He does not let the weight of his own experience give him a negative view of humanity, and the beauty of that is evident through all he does.

He writes and speaks candidly about his experience with mental health, turning his suffering into something wonderful by writing the books “Reasons to stay alive” and “Notes on a nervous planet.”

He uses his Twitter account to promote the cause of mental health, and remains an incredibly modest spokesperson for those who cannot find the strength to speak out. He has been featured in numerous articles clearly detailing the need for a mental health revolution in our country.

It was my immense pleasure to be able to ask him how he feels schools should address this mental health crisis.

(question starts at 39:22)

Full quote:

Question:

“How can we make sure that, within the education system, we promote mental health and make sure we deliver a proper understanding of mental health to students”

Answer:

I dont necessarily think we should treat mental health as a seperate subject. Mental health is integral to everything and to everything we do, and it has to be integral to the education system as well.

We need to factor in mental wellbeing to our conversations of physical wellbeing and learning and growth.

What is the point of an education system?

Is it just a grade machine?

Or is it about creating confident, happy, healthy people?

Obviously it has to factor that in as well.

I don’t normally like the word, but we do need a holistic approach to mental health and education and it can’t be just

“Oh it’s 3 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon so it’s the mental health hour”

We need a full picture approach.

Thanks Matt for this amazing answer, and Tortoise Media for the event!

I hope we get to see the change our system needs soon.

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