Most of us feel that we’ve lost control over our lives right now. City and school re-openings are unknown, and for many life seems to be turned upside down with no clear end in sight. Even with all the chaos and uncertainty going on, there is one thing we can control which is our efforts to safeguard our mental health and wellbeing.
Today, February 3, 2022, marks the annual Time to Talk Day. This social movement is designed to help create supportive communities where people are able to start conversations around mental health and feel empowered to seek help when they need it. This day aims to encourage people to not only be open about their personal struggles, but to do it without fear or stigma which is often associated to this topic.
- Nearly 1 in 5 adults live with mental illness
- 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination has a negative effect on their lives
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Members of LGTBQ+ communities are almost 3 times more likely to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder
- 1 in 6 children aged 5-16 are likely to have a mental health problem
- 55% of 16-25 year old’s say they had seen their doctor about mental health at some point in their lives
We all go through tough times, but there is no simple way of knowing if someone is struggling with mental health. Many mental illnesses have been identified and defined including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and many more. Although there are common symptoms specific to certain mental health challenges, not everyone reacts the same way, making it difficult to spot.
Understanding how to respond to someone with mental health issues is crucial and can make a world of a difference to someone who may be feeling alone. Here are some ways you can show your support:
- Listen: Set time aside with no distractions. Ask open-ended questions to allow them to share their experiences with you and help them feel heard
- Celebrate wins: Every day is a challenge. Celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how big or small they may be
- Do your research: Educate yourself and learn more about mental health. Understanding these challenges will help you to understand their experiences and be aware of those who are at risk
- Check in regularly: Those struggling with mental health already often feel like a burden to others. Check in regularly, keep them company and always remind them that they are loved and there to support them in any way possible
If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues and is seeking support, speak to your doctor, tell someone you trust, or contact mental health services. For more blogs related to mental health, check out the following: