I used to have a supervisor who would often say “The problem with people is they just expect to be happy”. And I have to say; in my experience as a counsellor people are often disillusioned by the fact that they just don’t feel as happy as they think they should. In reality happiness is just like some of the more negative feelings; it is not a constant state. And what’s more, happiness is sometimes not the appropriate response to certain situations we encounter.
Where people feel pressure to “be happy” it can cause them to hold back from talking to their family and friends. I have heard so many people say they don’t want to burden others with their problems or always be seen as “that” negative and unhappy person.
Over the pond an unlikely relationship has blossomed between Mental Health and the fast food giant Burger King. On the face of it, it appears Burger King is simply poking fun at their rivals McDonalds “Happy Meals” with the slogan “No one is happy all the time”. But I think they really do have a point.
In Burger King you can buy “Real meals” which have been created in collaboration with Mental Health America (MBA) to shine the light on the importance of mental health problems. Customers are hearing the message “It’s OK to not be OK” and can opt to buy a “Pissed Meal”, “Blue Meal”, “Salty Meal” , “a YAAAS Meal” or, a “DGAF Meal”.
Some might question whether a fast food company is really compatible with the promotion of good mental health. But at least they are starting the conversation about mental health with the vast numbers of people they reach. And in my opinion, that can only be a good thing.