WE NEED TO START THE CONVERSATION
Young people face real dilemmas as they navigate their way through childhood, family relations, puberty, school life, the demands of exams and coping with parental expectation, new relationships and deciding what on earth they are going to do ‘when they grow up’! In today’s society, such issues can prove extremely stressful, giving rise to the development of increasing mental health concerns, now showing at a very early age.
YOU CAN HELP CHANGE THAT.
Educate yourself and facilitate proactive prevention in your community. Only then can we shatter the silence around our mental health
Understanding Our Mental Health
Mental health impacts everyone’s quality of life and includes our passions, relationships, and experiences. Someone can be born with a genetic predisposition for a mental illness. Our brains can also sustain psychological traumas.
We invest a great deal of time formally and informally apprising others on how to address our nutrition & physical health. For example, if someone does not maintain their nutrition and physical health, they may develop an illness and just about anyone would know to contact medical services. If someone does not maintain their mental health, they may develop an illness. But unlike our physical health, mental health isn’t commonly talked about in our communities because of stigma.
We need to embrace open communication of mental health challenges and be able to provide direction to help others before crisis arises.
There is no shame in asking for help. There are tools and treatments to respond, treat and manage mental health issues.
Question…the person about suicide, Persuade….the person to get help and, Refer.…the person to the appropriate resource
These steps can help save a life, and it’s the same technique first responders and educators use with individuals contemplating suicide. You’ll learn how to identify warning signs, how to interrupt the crisis and how to direct that person to proper care.
NAMI Ending The Silence
NAMI Ending the Silence is an engaging presentation that helps audience members learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions and what steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental health condition.
NAMI Ending the Silence presentations include two leaders: one who shares an informative presentation and a young adult with a mental health condition who shares their journey of recovery. Audience members can ask questions and gain understanding of an often-misunderstood topic. Through dialogue, we can help grow the movement to end stigma.
Mental Health First Aid
“Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well” — mentalhealthfirstaid.org
Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.
Mental Health First Aid is an essential tool in proactive suicide prevention and the core foundation for effective mental health education.
How To Be Supportive
When someone experiences a mental health challenge, here is how you can be supportive:
LISTEN: Let someone really express their experiences. Being someone they can talk to is essential when giving support.
BE NON-JUDGMENTAL: Don’t criticize or minimize the way they feel. You may not be able to understand exactly what they’re going through, and that’s ok.
ASK WHAT, NOT WHY: When you ask questions, avoid asking ‘why’ questions, and instead ask ‘what’ questions. Asking why can have a judgmental tone even if you don’t mean it that way.
GIVE INFORMATION – DON’T DIAGNOSE: Don’t assume they have an illness or condition. Provide direction to resources that can identify and treat mental health issues.
ACT AS A BRIDGE: You can connect someone to mental health resources. Resources include family, school guidance, mental health professionals, and organizations like Navigate Hope.
TEAMMATE IN SUPPORT: Being supportive doesn’t mean your duty is to ‘fix’ someone. Mental health is complicated and solutions aren’t overnight. As a teammate, the best support you can give is by being a trusting ear, helping to navigate resources, and acting as a source of encouragement.
Take a Mental Health Screening Today
It’s important to remember that it’s ok not to be ok and prevention starts with a conversation. Take a free screening test and encourage your friends to do the same. The screening is 100% confidential.
Help is closer than you think.