Silence Sucks, Doesn’t It? Let’s Speak Up for Mental Health Awareness
May is celebrated as a mental health awareness month around the world. And I want to take this opportunity to start a conversation around our mental and emotional wellbeing. Be it a friend, a family member, or a mental health professional, or if you become a mental health advocate, it’s important that you share about your mental health experience. It significantly helps create mental health awareness and literacy among people.
There is no doubt that we have come a long way, but there still is a raving need for better mental health support and robust infrastructure, making mental health available, affordable and accessible for all.
Acknowledge Your Problem
Talking about your mental health problem may feel daunting, but it can help to be vocal about your experience for yourself and others. The first step toward breaking the silence around is acknowledging your problems and not escaping or denying it.
By recognizing your problems, you can develop coping skills, build stronger personal and professional relationships.
Practice Honesty and Build Trust
It is natural to feel intimated when you are sharing how you feel about a certain situation in your life, but being honest in the process is essential.
If you are speaking to a mental health professional, your inputs will help them design effective plans for your recovery and growth. We often get overwhelmed and don’t contest what our therapists speak, but it is important that you speak up if you are not happy or want to change the ways of doing things regardless of your progress.
Being compassionate is crucial while you navigate your mental wellbeing or that of others. Sometimes, what we say doesn’t sound as bad as we speak, but they do when we hear them. Words open doors but close too if we are not kind and compassionate with them.
Be vocal because voices open doors. Speak up to create mental health awareness.
Here are some ways that can help you break the ice and try to speak up about your mental health problems to a family member, friend or a mental health professional:
Prime your conversation
This does not require you to set a serious room before starting a talk. However, letting people know that what you are going to share with them is important and means a lot to you can help in engaging their undivided attention.
Be mindful of the other person’s mood
We tend to think about our problems obsessively and ignore what others might be feeling. We must be mindful of the other person’s mood and feelings as well. If we want to get a good response, we should know when is the right time to ask for help. Otherwise, we might end up feeling like they are not interested, which is not true because they are overwhelmed themselves and can’t focus on others at the moment.
Always ensure how the other person is and what mood they are in before you begin with your set of problems.
Be clear with what you want
You reach out to people or professionals for a reason. You want their support and help. Let people know what they can do to help. Let them know if what they are doing isn’t helping you, and tell them respectfully if you would like them to stop.
The bitter truth is that many live in silence and ignorance about their mental health issues. It is important that we speak up and break the silence because it sucks! Let’s unmute ourselves and be vocal about our problems. Above all, we need to learn to listen, acknowledge, and address a problem if someone comes to us and opens up about their mental disorders.
The only way to fight the shame and stigma attached to mental health is to speak up. The more vigorously we speak of our experiences, the more people will understand. Let’s encourage mental health awareness and literacy and help people heal because they are not alone in this.
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