There are so many individuals who don’t know how to discuss issues related to mental illness. Why? One reason may be that these people don’t understand how a person with mental illness really behaves. Another reason may be that they simply cannot wrap their heads around the deep-seated symptoms of this condition and how it can affect one’s life.
Did you know that one in three people will experience issues with mental health at some point in life? These few tips can help to make you a mental health hero to someone you know and love.
1. More than in the Mind – Mental Issues are REAL…
Some individuals, though with good intentions, may tell their depressed family members and friends that they should really try to deal with the situation as best as possible on their own. Some may recommend that medication is probably the only option.
It is best, however, to take an empathic approach and really try to understand what a person with a mental health issue has to endure or experience.
2. Take an Empathic Approach
It might be a daunting task to talk candidly about the issues related to mental health. It is even harder to be open about it. However, with an open mind, you could put yourself in a position to hear some powerful and brave stories, allowing yourself to empathize with those who suffer from these diseases. And yes, mental health problems can be a disease.
Once you are aware and have an understanding of mental health problems that some people face, your mission should be to support services and activities that promote mental health.
3. Help with Facilitating Recovery
A mental health hero is one who makes an endeavor to facilitate recovery of people with mental health issues.
For example, let’s say you know someone who is depressed and is unable to cope with life in a healthy way. Then, the worst thing you could do is turn a blind eye. You should do what you can to improve that person’s life.
No one is expecting you to become a professional. Even if you are not a mental health professional who has assisted numerous clients with mental health issues, there are still things you can do. For example, you can take the time to learn and understand mental health issues and diseases and even volunteer your time and services in a mental health center.
4. Raise Support and Awareness
If you have the resources (or time to find the resources), you can set up a mental health support group in your locality. This can be done to raise awareness about mental health and its impact to families and communities.
With a support group, you can help others to break the stigma associated with mental health. You can inspire others by the way that you deal with mental health individuals, helping them to overcome their difficulties.
The support group could also make it easier for mental health patients to have access to specific resources and professional advice.
If you are unable to start a support group for mental health issues, you can do your part by offering counseling to mental health patients who are having a hard time staying in a job or returning to work. It could be a co-worker or family member.
You can be a mental health hero by being a pioneer for innovative and unique ways that others are supporting individuals with mental health issues. This includes the family of the mental health patient.
5. Make a Creative Contribution
There are people who don’t actually make a living in the mental health field, but have contributed to the cause.
Here are some great examples of how to become a mental health hero:
- If you are a writer, you could write a book or even blog about mental health, possibly highlighting the story of someone suffering from this condition.
- Design a website providing information and organizational resources.
- Create a Youtube channel dedicated to mental health in order to get the word out.
- Use your career as a foundation to support mental health (if you are an artist, writer, or musician, for example).
Your creativity could be utilized to bring the awareness to the public and reducing the prejudice and stigma in society.
Mental health heroism is all around us – from researchers to teachers, politicians to therapists and the elderly to children and adults. Once you know of someone else with mental illness, you can take up the baton and help. If you don’t know someone with mental illness, you can forge forward by joining the fight with other organizations and groups.