May’s meeting was a nerve-wracking one for me because it was the first time, as the Vice President of the Swallowtail WI, that I’d been asked to lead the meeting. Our President Claire was away so I took her place on the night we voted on whether to support this year’s proposed National Federation resolution, which is focused on Mental Health and what the WI can do to improve things for people suffering from conditions that fall under that umbrella.
In brief, this is what the NFWI are proposing:
Mental health matters
Mental health matters as much as physical health. The NFWI urges all WI members to recognise the importance of parity between mental health and physical health and take action to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health issues as much as physical health issues, and to lobby government for better support for mental illness.
The Swallowtails are a very enthusiastic and thoughtful bunch of ladies so there was a good debate about the resolution and ways we believe we could make a difference. Many of our members spoke about how mental illness has affected loved ones and there were questions about how we could support the resolution and provide tangible help to those in need.
After this discussion, we took time to think things over while doing some crafting. The Swallowtails will be submitting an entry into this year’s Norfolk Federation of WI’s crafting competition, and we wanted to make sure as many Swallowtails as possible have a hand in creating our mini masterpiece. It was great to hear the girls swapping serious thoughts on the resolution but also laughing and bonding over our crafting work.
Many of us expressed our thoughts about how WI is good for our mental health as it allows us to get together in a safe, kind environment and make new friendships. We wondered about providing a space for people to talk about their concerns and feelings at each meeting, wondering if we can ensure no Swallowtail ever feels alone when we are there to listen. The resolution has got us all thinking, so it was no surprise that we voted unanimously in favour of it. Now we’re looking forward to finding out what the NFWI thinks and discovering how our formidable membership can make a real difference in the mental health arena.
By Kate White, Vice President
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