It’s #BellLetsTalk Day, but I really believe the conversation surrounding mental health is one that should never stop. We need to continuously talk about it so that those suffering feel less alone. We need to keep the conversation going so that the stigma can be removed – and hopefully then, everyone suffering will finally be able to get the help they so desperately need.
I’m going to share some things I have learned over the years when it comes to mental health.
Whether you yourself are battling mental illness, or you know someone who is – these tips will help.
1. If you don’t know what to say to someone who is struggling, just let them know you are there for them. “I’m here for you.”
The feeling of loneliness is palpable. “I’m here for you.” These four little words can change someone’s mind frame immensely. When someone is suffering from mental illness, and is in distress – they feel utterly and completely alone. By letting them know that you are there for them, that may help them open up and start talking. You don’t even have to do anything other than just tell them, “I’m here for you.”
2. Depression, anxiety, and all #mentalhealth ‘issues’ are diseases…and should be treated as such. SEEK HELP.
I know what it’s like to feel worthless, like you’re a burden…you won’t want to ask for help…but fight through that feeling. Get help. What works for one person, may not work for you. It’ll take some trial and error – but be patient and persistent
3. Know someone who is fighting the ongoing fight with mental health? Keep your eyes open for signs at all times.
Signs of distress are different for everyone. Mine include (but are not limited to): anti-social, recluse, lack of appetite, insomnia. Keep an eye out for these and step in if you feel that your loved one is in a state of distress.
4. Keep the conversation going. I love and support the #BellLetsTalk initiative (obvs) – but the conversation should not end here.
The conversation on mental health is one that should continue until the stigma is removed & everyone gets the help they need…no one should be left feeling unworthy of getting the help they deserve…and that help should be accessible for all.
5. Dig deep (really, really deep) and find that little voice inside of you that still believes you’re worthy.
I know it’s been said a million times, but I am living proof that it does get better. It’s not always easy…but it does get better. You have to take that chance on yourself though. Reach out and get the help you need and deserve.
6. It’s important to remember that you will have bad days. You’re human and allowed to feel things-you’re allowed to be sad.
Feel every feeling, process every emotion…the bad days will pass, and they will help you appreciate the good ones even more…in the end, you have to remember that you are worthy, and that you deserve to be happy.
If you’re in Canada and in crisis – here is the contact info for Suicide Prevention:
If you or someone you know (in Canada) is in crisis or needs emotional support, these resources can help.