Mental health is often viewed as a sensitive topic that should not be regularly discussed. While the effects some individuals experience due to mental health issues is sensitive, shying away from the discussion of these effects can cause people to neglect to ask for help when needed. When we choose not to discuss mental health for fear of the potential awkwardness that may come into play, we make it harder for individuals who struggle with mental health to feel comfortable being open or getting help.
Normalizing the Conversation
To help normalize these discussions, we should first consider becoming ready to talk about these subjects in a healthy way. Educating yourself on the basic information regarding mental health can allow you to contribute to these societal conversations. Learning about the basics of mental health awareness may even help you discover aspects of your mental health that may have not been given the appropriate attention.
If you notice someone bringing up mental health in a conversation and being immediately shut down, it is a chance for you to step in and address the issue. Encouraging the discussion of mental health to be expanded rather than shut down or shamed can make a huge difference in the ability of the people around you to feel comfortable opening up about their emotional state.
Learning the Basics
A simple way to educate yourself more on the subject of mental health is to become aware of commonly diagnosed disorders. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common forms of mental health disorders. While anxiety has a variety of types, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the most common. Depression is another common disorder, often co-existing with other disorders.
Understanding how to recognize the potential signs of these disorders and ensure you are positively influencing those who are struggling can help everyone feel more comfortable and motivate people to share when they’re struggling. Encouraging these forms of conversation can allow opportunities for more individuals to be vulnerable about their personal experiences and potentially open themselves to receive the help they need.
Normalizing conversations about this matter can help many individuals in society realize they are not alone. Many people struggle to talk about this subject because they fear that others will look down on them and view them in a negative way. When people do eventually open up regarding these issues, they often find that many of their peers have experienced or are experiencing similar struggles.
The challenges that mental health disorders can bring into your everyday life can drastically improve by talking about them. Many of the obstacles faced by those with mental health issues require the development of coping mechanisms for them to be managed or overcome.
Discussing your mental health struggles honestly with others around you can provide you with a variety of ideas to implement into your coping strategies. It can also help you to better understand the aspects of yourself that you may not be properly taking care of. Understanding the aspects of self-care you lack can help you establish a routine that leads you to success.
As well as understanding the basic signs of common mental health disorders, it is important to know how to provide support to individuals who are struggling. One way to provide support is to understand the correct terms to use when discussing mental health issues. Using terms that may come across as offensive can cause individuals to feel that the conversation is directed toward judgment rather than support.
Another essential aspect of providing support is to ensure you are open and receptive to the conversation when a mental health issue is brought up. If a peer begins to discuss these issues with you, they likely trust you and feel comfortable sharing this information with you. Take the time to listen and provide reassurance as needed. Refrain from pushing advice onto the individual unless they ask for it. Empathizing with your peers during these conversations can help them feel appreciated and reinforce the trust that is inherent in discussing this information.
Working to spread information on mental health awareness will help you create a more understanding and open community. After educating yourself about mental health, you can reach out to your local community to see how you can involve yourself in spreading awareness. Creating flyers, managing events or fundraisers, and even being safe community support can make a huge difference to those around you.
Mental health awareness can be spread even through simple acts within everyday life. If you make eye contact with a stranger, share a smile. Give a friendly hello to a stranger. Be a listening ear to your friends and family. Spreading awareness and kindness can set you up to receive support if needed as well. Developing a strong support system within your community can benefit everyone.
Mental health awareness is often not discussed in public situations, and when it is discussed, too often the conversation is shut down or shamed. However, discussing mental health issues can greatly benefit those struggling with mental health issues. Normalizing these conversations can provide many benefits to society. Encouraging others to open up about their mental state and receive support in areas where they need help is essential. To help normalize this practice, you can educate yourself on the common mental health disorders. Understanding how to recognize these disorders and learning how to best support individuals going through these obstacles can help you become a safe support system within your community. Helping to provide support and spread awareness can influence these discussions to become a societal norm. To learn more about normalizing mental health awareness and what you can do to help, reach out to Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.