Saturday, October 10, 2020

Mental Health Deserves The Spotlight


Combat harmful misinformation by educating yourself yourself about mental illness.

Combat stigma by speaking up for those who suffer from mental illness.

Combat needless suffering by offering a compassionate hand to those who struggle with mental illness.

Advocate for yourself and reach out for help if you are enduring the symptoms of mental illness without support. You are important, you are not alone, your life matters, and you are needed in this world.

From Project Hope:

Mental health is a global crisis that affects people across all walks of life.

Mental health is essential to a healthy life. But millions of people around the world struggle silently with anxiety, fear, isolation, and depression, lacking access to the quality care they need.

Mental health is a human right — and everyone deserves access to the care they need to reach their full potential.

And according to NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), the link between mental illness and suicide can not be ignored.

Like any other health emergency, it’s important to address a mental health crisis like suicide quickly and effectively. Unlike other health emergencies, mental health crises don’t have *instructions or resources on how to help or what to expect (like the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR). 

If your friend or family member struggles with suicidal ideation day-to-day, let them know that they can talk with you about what they’re going through. Make sure that you adopt an open and compassionate mindset when they’re talking. Instead of “arguing” or trying to disprove any negative statements they make (“Your life isn’t that bad!”), try active listening techniques such as reflecting their feelings and summarizing their thoughts. This can help your loved one feel heard and validated.

Let them know that mental health professionals are trained to help people understand their feelings and improve mental wellness and resiliency. Psychotherapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, can help a person with thoughts of suicide recognize ineffective patterns of thinking and behavior, validate their feelings and learn coping skills. Suicidal thoughts are a symptom, just like any other — they can be treated, and they can improve over time.

Suicide is not the answer. There is hope.

*NAMI has created Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency, so people experiencing mental health emergencies and their loved ones can have the answers and information they need when they need it most.