Crush the Stigma
Many people don’t feel comfortable discussing how they are feeling due to the stigma attached to mental health problems. But these conversations are important, and it is healthy to know and speak about your feelings. World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health issues across the globe and get people talking about the work that is being done and what more can be done to make mental health care possible for everyone.
This year’s theme is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. Stigma and discrimination against people with mental health conditions is still substantial and widespread. It has been found there can be a lack of access to mental health services depending on your background. However, regardless of your situation, access to services remains frustratingly difficult. Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of the charity Mind has spoken about the importance in investing money in mental health services. Although these are bigger issues there are smaller ways in which you can help someone you know that may be struggling.
Make time. Set aside time with no distractions for you to provide an open, non-judgmental space.
Don’t force conversation. Let the individual lead the conversation and discuss their issues at their own pace. Opening up about mental health takes a lot of courage and by putting pressure on them, it may cause them to put their guard up.
Mention well-being. Exercising, having a healthy diet and taking a break can help protect mental health and sustain wellbeing. Talk about ways of de-stressing and ask if they find anything helpful.
Don’t self-diagnose. While you may be available to offer support, you aren’t a trained counselor. Try not to make assumptions or diagnose them on your own.
Know your limits. If you believe they are in danger or require medical help, you need to act immediately to ensure their safety.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please look at the ways you can get help here.
Together, we can Crush the Stigma!