Experts for Hard Stuff
I was chatting a while ago with someone who runs a successful business. She was very open about the limits of her expertise, telling me about the several consultants she relies on for everything from human resources development to marketing and IT.
She seemed amused at my unawareness that she would seek out so many such resources, and said, “I have experts I go to for hard stuff.” She said that her expectation would be that everyone in business would do the same.
Knowing my line of work, she pointed out that each one of my clients who seek counselling are doing just that same thing, and that this is her own philosophy that makes it easy for her to seek counselling when she needs it. We all need experts for hard stuff.
I was struck by how utterly normal, and acceptable this is to her, both professionally and personally. Having heard from so many others how difficult it is for them to overcome the stigma around seeking personal or relationship counselling, it was refreshing to hear her simple acceptance and even bewilderment that not everyone sees it this way.
The Ministry of Loneliness
Recently I was delivering WrapAround Facilitator training in Altona, Manitoba. Altona is a lovely small rural community about an hour and a half south of Winnipeg, close to the US border.
There I came across a newspaper for seniors entitled Senior Scope: For Ages 50 to 100+. And the front-page headline of the current issue blared out, “What Can Be Done About ‘Loneliness’?”
The author noted that British Prime Minister Theresa May had just appointed a “Minister of Loneliness.” This is a new cabinet position in the British government. The appointment was not done flippantly: there are staggering and sobering statistics that support this decision. Did you know that loneliness is a greater predicter of early death than smoking or obesity?
This is not just a British phenomenon—the same dynamics are happening across the Western world, including Canada, with the same impacts on health.
In other words, a public health crisis is emerging in our midst, with all of the costs, both social and economic, that a public health crisis brings with it—and the cause is loneliness.