One of the reasons that mental health has been a topic that more people are comfortable talking about these days is because it’s not looked down upon like it once was.
It wasn’t long ago that someone would just be classified as “weird” or “socially awkward” and nobody would pay attention let alone try to help them or encourage them to talk to someone that could help them.
Millennials especially are open when it comes to talking about mental health. This new forward thinking has rubbed off on older generations as well and now it’s not such a “hush hush” topic. It’s important we celebrate awareness and not judge mental health.
How You Can Help – Awareness
One of the easiest ways to support the mental health awareness it to do just that – be supportive. If someone is going through something offer to help them find help.
A simple “I’m here if you ever need to talk” goes a long way and you would be surprised at how many people will come forward simply because you offered to be a sounding board.
Celebrate Those That Made a Change
If you know someone that battled depression and was able to get help then be sure to let them know how proud you are of them. Don’t be afraid to celebrate them. There is no need to keep the congratulations to yourself.
Let them know you are happy for them and there for them any time. This type of reassurance can help them remain in a positive state of mind even in the event of additional difficult situations or circumstances in the future.
Help Connect with Local Professional Help
While you can be a sounding board and someone to offer initial help, it will often require professional help. One of the most helpful things you can do is help someone not only find a professional to speak to, but also encourage them to follow through and go to meetings and appointments.
There are a lot of online resources you can direct people to, like Clarity Clinic. From there they can connect with professionals in their local area and receive the help they need. Every city has companies and directories that you can use to find the help options available.
Just because you can’t offer the actual treatment help and advice doesn’t mean your “help” isn’t effective. You can even do it in a non-nagging way. “Hey how about I meet you after your appointment and we can grab some dinner and go watch the game” is more effective than saying “make sure you go to your appointment tonight.”
If you want to look into additional ways to help you can contact your local organizations and nonprofits in the mental health field.
They will often have volunteering options or other ways you can donate your time to contribute. Fundraising is also an option – these organization usually rely on outside donations to keep the program alive. Any way you can help will be greatly appreciated.
- Marissa Sanders is a co-founder of the Duovolt Art blog.