In the past 2 posts, I covered on what is and why mental health is important. But I think its my duty to also cover, where and what should you do to get help if you or someone you know is needs help. Here are some tips and avenues on getting help:
- Its okay to seek help!
It is very important to be okay with seeking help. One thing we learnt in medical school is that we would not be able to help someone, if they aren’t ready to seek help, especially in the case of mental health. If someone is not ready to accept the help, they would not be able engage in the measures or help extended out to them. Acceptance helps in developing an awareness of the issue at hand and also any beliefs that support it. It helps in creating a sense of self in the face of the issue and help in being receptive to solutions devised by professionals with the aim to help you.
- Find a friend / loved one
One thing that I have said consistently, is that my friends and family have got me through many such times. They are the ones I turn too if I have troubles or issues which I am confronted with. And I believe, that is the case for most people, usually people like to turn to someone they know and love and talk the issues out and that helps them out a lot. Friendship can play a key role in helping someone live with or recover from a mental health problem and overcome the isolation that often comes with it. It’s natural to worry when a friend is troubled and most of us don’t want to give up on a friend in distress, however difficult it may be to support them. Many people who do manage to keep their friendship going feel that it’s stronger as a result. Friendships work both ways. A mental health problem doesn’t mean that you’re never able to support or laugh with someone else.
Well I know some of you might think, how am I going to approach this topic or should you even talk about this with your loved ones? You don’t have to tell your friends – and you certainly don’t have to tell everyone. There is no need to tell anyone about what you are experiencing if you don’t feel comfortable with it. Some people find it helpful to draw up a balance sheet of the pros and cons of telling or not telling people about their problem. Tough as it can be, talking to close friends can be important for both of you. Even if you don’t talk about it again, having the issue out in the open means that you don’t have to worry about mentioning it by accident or ‘explain away’ medication or appointments. It may also make clear why you may be behaving in a particular way or why you don’t want to go out or talk to them much.
More information and thoughts on this: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/f/friendship-and-mental-health
- Call someone
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone about your issues, there are multiple other avenues that you can approach. Many national and local organisations run helplines that you can call in a crisis. Talking to a trained listener could give you some support and help you make sense of what’s happening for you. Many of these services help you by letting you talk through your feelings and experiences without judging you or telling you what to do. Here are some of the websites I have found, which can help you find the right service for you:
- Take a break!
I know it won’t be fair to assume, all those who wouldn’t be feeling themselves, would need external help or even think you would need to bring it to your friend’s attention. That’s fair also. And sometimes you just feel stressed with examination just around the corner! Here some of my tips to help you during these tough but temporary times:
Get good sleep.For lots of people who experience depression, sleeping too little or too much can be a daily problem. Getting good sleep can help to improve your mood and increase your energy levels.
Eat well. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly and increase your energy levels.
Keep active. Many people find exercise a challenge but gentle activities like yoga, swimming or walking can be a big boost to your mood.
I do not claim to be an expert in this field and neither am I qualified enough to give a definite solution or fix to help you through these times; but the one thing I can do is that…I can safely say you can get through this and you will come out stronger. Mental health is no simple issue which can be fixed over 3 posts; governments of many countries are wrecking their brains trying to a find a solution. But till then, supporting each other through these tough times will be very helpful to those affected and it is something we should all do!