“Strength lies not in the absence of struggles, but in the courage to seek help and support when facing them.”
Mental health issues do not discriminate; they can affect anyone, anywhere. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and suicide claims the lives of nearly 700,000 people each year. These numbers illustrate the urgent need to prioritize mental health on a global scale. The global mental health crisis is a stark reality that affects millions of people across the world.
But what is mental health? How does it influence us?
Mental health is something that affects all of us, directly or indirectly, throughout our lives. It is associated with our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It influences the way we think, act, and feel. It impacts the quality of our day to day life and it has the potential to fluctuate with time.
Yet there are individuals around us, silently fighting with anxiety and depression without seeking the professional help they need, ashamed of being considered weak. The stigma of discussing or talking about mental health is still prevalent throughout the globe despite many efforts to desensitize the topic.
Which raises the question, how do we break the stigma around mental health? WHO in partnership with the World Federation of Mental Health raises awareness every year to break the stigma associated with mental health on the 10th of October. So consider this, “mental health is a universal human right”. It is our mind and our right to be able to live a wholesome life.
Each of us has come across a point in our lives where we have felt overwhelmed or were pacing up and down about a major life event; which is over as soon as the immediate crisis is over. This is a good level of anxiety which helps us to perform our best and keep taking bigger strides.
But for some people, this starts to affect their daily functioning. It builds up gradually to a point where it gets extraordinarily difficult for the person to overcome this situation without external help. But in fear of being judged, considered weak or merely rejected for overthinking about the event, they keep things to themselves.
This is the point where the stress of an event turns into a disorder and affects the person’s mental health state. But you may wonder how you can contribute to this by making mental health universally accessible. Oftentimes, as individuals in others’ lives, we can help them with their situation with little deeds of kindness and little words of love.
Ask them what they need
People often tend to make assumptions about a condition from hearsay and make suggestions that may adversely affect the individual struggling with the condition. Instead, ask them how you can help and support their endeavors in whatever way that you can.
Listen to help
When someone is telling you that they are struggling, they are not kidding or playing the victim card. Taking their words seriously is the first step to getting them the support they seek.
Avoid offering unsolicited advice
When a person share their struggles, they are looking for someone who would understand them and not necessarily a solution. You cannot truly know a person unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. It is not a popular saying for nothing.
Get the necessary help
Sometimes a stressor may be minor now but if built over time can become a huge matter of concern. Talking to a loved one about the daily stressor would be an effective technique for most, so lend an ear. But if the person struggles with major stressors, talking to a professional is highly recommended.
Remember, everyone has the right to seek mental health assistance. After all, it is our mind, our right!
Let's create a world where seeking help is seen as an act of strength, not weakness.
Through The Able Mind, we wish to encourage everyday conversations about mental health issues. We are just a click away for affordable counseling to help you handle issues - small or big - one day at a time. You can have a stigma and worry-free therapy experience without burning deep holes in your pockets.
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