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Mental health care and awareness is a great passion of mine. I write about it, I’ve been a speaker on the subject, I do what I can to personally be a support to those who suffer. Please remember October 10th is #WorldMentalHealthDay
This year many lives have been lost to suicide, many people have experienced an inpatient mental health stay, many have detached from anyone who loves them, many have cried alone. On this day (and any day), take a moment to check on those you love. You don’t need to come up with anything to say, just start with “Hi, I just want you to know I love you and wanted to check on ya.”
-Ask how they are doing. Don’t expect the truth right away. Don’t be afraid. Be prepared for details to emerge slowly, including the severity of what they are dealing with.
-Let them know you are open to deeper conversation, and be available.
-Expect to hear repeating issues, feelings, concerns. Learn to listen. -While there is nothing you can ‘do’, if there are some every day stressors you can help relieve, be available and offer to do so.
-Don’t give up communicating if they decline your help, sometimes those of us ‘dealing’ feel like a burden, so it may take a couple tries before they are willing to accept help.
-Monitor your body language, facial expressions, and tones. Sometimes what we project is louder than what we speak. Keep your arms uncrossed, and face your loved one when listening, look them in the eye-it truly speaks volumes to where your attention is.
Please do your research on suicide and know the signs and risks of suicidal behavior. If you feel your loved one is exhibiting some of those behaviors, offer to call the National Suicide Hotline with them, or give them the number to call. Follow up and check in:
“We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.”
**If they know they are Suicidal, offer to take them in. There is NO SHAME in asking for help. #endthestigma
Mental health is just as important as physical health. EVERY LIFE MATTERS, we all deserve the help, understanding, and a safe place to turn to.
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