mental health as part of health | beliefnet | author | terezia farkas

guest post by Wade Sorochan

Mental Health as Part of Total Health

Good mental health is a vital part of overall good health and well-being. It is just as important to maintain good mental health as it is to maintain good physical health. There is no health without mental health.

Supporting Someone with a Mental Disorder

Educate Yourself

Educating yourself will give you a better understanding of what the person is going through, and it will show that you care. But do not diagnose. Provide practical information to help that person further understand and learn more about mental disorders.

Encourage Them to Seek Help From Their Doctor

A family doctor is a good place to start to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

Be Understanding, Encouraging and a Sympathetic Listener

Allow them to express their feelings. Let them know that you are there if they need a sympathetic ear, encouragement or assistance. Remind that person that you care and that you’ll do whatever you can to help, but supporting someone with a mental disorder can be emotionally draining, so it’s important to look after your own mental well-being.

Breaking the Silence and Ending the Stigma

Statistics have shown that only 1 out of 4 people afflicted with a mental disorder will seek help. Stigma played a clear role. Of those who had untreated disorders, more than half said they were too embarrassed to seek help. Slowly the picture is changing. Canadians are increasingly choosing to seek help, usually when there is a media awareness campaign.

When we start to talk openly and honestly about mental health people start to seek help and realize these 5 basic truths about mental illness:

1. Mental illness is not a character weakness
2. It is not your fault
3. You are not alone
4. Mental illnesses are treatable
5. There is Hope

A Call to Action on Mental Health

Mental illness is just that; an illness, yet there is a reluctance to talk about it like other illnesses, leaving the mentally ill to suffer in silence. We need governments at all levels, as well as organizations, churches and individuals to lead the call to action. While there has been some progress, having a mental disorder can cause discrimination based on fear, misunderstanding or just plain ignorance.

We can all play a part in breaking the silence and ending the stigma about mental illness, so that everyone can get the treatment they need without fear of discrimination. Let’s keep talking and let’s keep this call to action initiative going to help save lives.

 

Thanks to Wade Sorochan (Positive Action For Total Health) for his excerpt from P.A.T.H. – A Practical Guide to Mental Health Awareness

Twitter:  #wellness  #depression  #anxiety  @Wadesorochan  @tereziafarkas

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