Mental health issues are common, and many people are suffering in silence, most of them are too afraid to seek help even if help is available.
The battle with mental illness is not only among those who are in crisis. As our families and friends get involved, even you and I are not immune, this issue is no longer just about “them”. Mental health becomes a matter that concerns us all.
According to the website www.mentalhealth.gov, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. There are contributing factors to mental health problems – biological, family history, and life experiences, among others.
“Depression is the most common mental health problem that affects more than 300 million individuals globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2018).”
Damaging stereotypes about depression and other mental illnesses discourage people from getting help. The stigma of mental health problems impact the lives of people in crisis and their loved ones. Sometimes, it even pushes people to take their own lives. The stigma needs to end.
We should talk about mental health and treat it like other health and social issues. We should treat it with compassion.
Mental Health First Response (MHFR)
I have friends and loved ones who suffered bouts of depression, too. During those times, the most I could do was to be around and to listen. Sometimes listening is the most important thing we can do for people who need an outlet for their pent-up feelings.
Last month, a hands-on training gave me the opportunity to learn the Mental Health First Response (MHFR) core skills – ESTIMATE – that could potentially save someone’s life or guide the person from a crisis situation to safety. I joined the MHFR, a mental health crisis skills prevention and intervention workshop for Filipinos who want to gain valuable skills in mental health concerns and suicide intervention.
“Every year close to 800 000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2018).”
The training was organized by Dr. Art Tolentino with Cebu-based psychologists Jeremiah Bohol and Chen Tan.
There were a lot of takeaways from the workshop and I also learned so much from the mental health advocates and practitioners who attended.
The bottom line is we can always do something to help break the stigma around mental health. We can impact mental health awareness in our communities. We can bring suicide intervention all the way to our barangays. We can respond to people in crisis.
There is no problem with asking for help when you need it!
There is strength in accepting and acknowledging that we need help, and asking for help is never a weakness. If you need someone to share the things you are going through with, we will hear you out.
I will hear you out. 🙂