By IFG Team Member •
The year is full of important health focus weeks. But, we tend to only seek resources, understanding, or knowledge of health conditions when they are personally and profoundly affecting ourselves or someone we care about. Why would we do otherwise with everything else on our plate? Unfortunately, it often takes a tragedy that hits home hard to become aware and educated – that’s too late.
We don’t need special training to have an open, authentic conversation about mental health. Often, just talking about it can be the first important step in staying connected for yourself or someone else and helping get support or treatment if needed. The easiest way to let people know you’re willing to talk about mental health is to be open about your own. Try to think of it in the same way you think about your physical health. Allow it to come up naturally in conversation in the same way. The mutual benefits of these conversations can be unexpected and healing – resulting in understanding and support.
Even just describing our concerns to a trusted friend and feeling his/her support can be a huge relief! It is important to realize that when someone chooses to confide is us, we can still only understand from drawing on our own experiences and perspective – not theirs.
What can you say to someone you think may be struggling? Trust your gut if you think someone’s having a hard time and speak to them privately. Remind them that you truly care about them, seek to understand as much as possible, and be sure he/she knows that you’ll continue to be there supporting them – and then keep that promise!
We are all masters of disguise. The more severe our issues, the more elaborate our disguises can become. Each person and situation are very different; and sadly, sometimes even after reaching out, we will still be unaware of and unable to help with someone’s internal struggle.
But one thing is the same for everyone – We all need and deserve to be shown and know that we ARE enough and loved and supported just the way we are. That’s something we can all do for each other and with no training at all – and it makes a big difference.
So, give that compliment (5 seconds), send that text (30 seconds), send an e-card (2 minutes), make a quick call (10 minutes), meet up (long or short), include someone in an event, (no extra time).
Your life will be better for it too!
Just a reminder that you can still sign up to walk with IFG or sponsor our team in the October 1st Sacramento Out of the Darkness Walk. Join the IFG Team or Donate Here.