THIS is the 1st step you should take if you or your closed one is suffering from a mental health issue
Sahana Tantry, Psychologist & Outreach Associate, Mpower The Centre – Bengaluru explained the steps one should take after someone gets diagnosed with a mental health issue.
The mental health awareness week is being observed to create more awareness of mental health and related problems and to promote the message of good mental health for all. For the unversed, the theme of this year is kindness. As per mentalhealth.org.uk, they chose kindness as theme because “one thing that they have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times.” During the awareness week, several events take place in schools, businesses, community groups. Also, events are hosted to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation. The first Mental Health Awareness Week was started in 2001, and since then awareness on topics like body image, stress and relationships has been raised.
As we observe the week, we asked Sahana Tantry, Psychologist & Outreach Associate, Mpower The Centre – Bengaluru to give us more insight on what are the steps one should take after being diagnosed with a mental health issue and theme of the year. Speaking of the steps she said, “If one identifies that either themselves or others are suffering from a mental health issue, the first step to be taken would be – to be kind on oneself or to the other person. It is extremely important to show unconditional positive regard (showing complete acceptance and support for someone no matter what he or she says) towards yourself or towards any other person suffering from a mental illness.”
“Offering advice, being critical about them or being dismissive is NOT something one must do for both themselves or others when we are in an overwhelmed state. It is extremely important to talk about the problem because voicing it out to a trusted individual will help us feel like we are not alone in this and furthermore, it sometimes also helps us gain some clarity about the situation. Once trust is developed by being there for the person, one must urge them to seek help from a mental health professional so that they do not further enter into a downward spiral.”
How to implement the theme of kindness?
For the unversed, kindness is the theme this year and want to know how to implement it then read on. She said, “Kindness is the beautiful human transaction of care and positive regard. It brings warmth to both the person who is showing kindness as well as receiving kindness. One can become a kinder person, by first starting with showing it to themselves- talk to themselves like how they would talk to a child- encourage and appreciate themselves, be more understanding of their flaws/ mistakes, focusing on what they can learn from it rather than being critical and harsh about it.”
She added, “One can be kind to others by showing their care- be it in spending time with them, listening to them with openness, helping them in whatever way they can, appreciating the strengths in others, treating them with respect. Nurturing kindness thus is like nurturing a plant. Just like you need to water the plant every day and monitor the soil regularly- work on doing one kind act every day, monitor your kind vice to yourself regularly. And slowly, kindness will bloom out like a flower filling everyone in its presence with happiness.”
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