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World Mental Health day

Over the span of my life, I have observed major health trends:

Heart attacks killing (out of the blue) in seemingly younger and younger people eventually stemmed through analysis of health data (here's a shout out for socialized health care!) and government education of doctors and the general public

Same story for diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure etc

Other killers were addressed through the above and treatments like vaccines or immunotherapy

But in the past few years - and rapidly accelerating - has come the mental health crisis. And thus to todays' post

How do you know if you need help?
  • Are you worrying more than usual?

  • Does that worry lead to poor sleep?

  • Do you find you are not enjoying life as you used to?

  • Or are your thoughts and feelings impacting the way you are able to live your life?

If the answers above are mostly yes, then maybe you can seek help from one or more of the following

  • You family doctor

  • Your EAP at your company

  • Your HR contact at work

  • Your local Priest, Iman, Rabi or Guru

  • A trained therapist

There can be more - but this is a good starting list - above all find someone to listen to you to to help share your concerns

What to do if someone needs your emotional support

If someone lets you know that they are experiencing difficult thoughts and feelings, it's not unusual to feel like you don't know what to do or say – but you don't need any special training to show someone you care about them. Often just being there for someone and doing small things can be really valuable. For example:

  • Listen. This act alone is one of the more powerful gifts you can give. If they're finding it difficult, let them know that you're there when they are ready.

  • Offer reassurance. Seeking help can feel lonely, and sometimes scary. You can reassure someone by letting them know that they are not alone, and that you will be there to help.

  • Stay calm. Even though it might be upsetting to hear that someone you care about is distressed, try to stay calm. This will help your friend or family member feel calmer too, and show them that they can talk to you openly without upsetting you.

  • Be patient. You might want to know more details about their thoughts and feelings, or want them to get help immediately. But it's important to let them set the pace for seeking support themselves.

  • Try not to make assumptions. Your perspective might be useful to your friend or family member, but try not to assume that you already know what may have caused their feelings, or what will help.

  • Keep social contact. Part of the emotional support you offer could be to keep things as normal as possible. This could include involving your friend or family member in social events, or chatting about other parts of your lives.

Be practical

Often those who need help find the actions associated with getting help challenging: you might offer support to help them go to and return from appointments, or learn more about their situation so you can help from an informed perspective

Remember you can't make them seek help, but you can help themselves find help.

Please stay well, look after yourself and if you need a friendly ear, message me. I'd be happy to speak.

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