May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which comes at a critical time in our history. This is an unprecedented time that has left many of us vulnerable, confused, and scared. When we are placed in this position, our mental health can suffer from the effects of the unknown. Those who suffer from mental health concerns on an everyday basis are left even more susceptible than anyone. However, it is important to embrace their needs and concerns in order to help change the stigma that surrounds mental health. Mental health awareness is critical in understanding and defeating these symptoms that many people unfortunately suffer each and every day. Our counselor in Orlando recommends these few strategies to help you change the mental health stigma that surrounds us.
Whenever you are able to openly discuss your mental health, you will feel less alone. Having a support system and a few trusted people with which to communicate, you can discuss your challenges and concerns. Having this conversation is critical in changing the stigma around mental health, because it will spread awareness and make the issues real for many who choose to neglect the conversation.
Whenever you hear that someone is struggling with their mental health, it is important to show them compassion. These are tough times, and often times, these are invisible battles. Suspend your judgment and offer a helping hand or assistance to help them get through their struggles. Be a good listener and offer them a safe space.
One of the main reasons people neglect the conversation around mental health is because they are unaware of the proper way to discuss it. When it comes time to discuss feelings of unhappiness, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and irrationality, people tend to freeze up in response. To avoid this, spend some time educating yourself on mental health concerns. Understanding what people go through can open up the conversation when it arises.
Often times, people label those with mental illness. This only adds to the stigma. The assumptions that surround those who suffer from mental illnesses can actually add to the issue itself, and these assumptions are often times untrue. Avoid categorizing or labeling those suffering from mental health issues, and instead embrace their individuality by inquiring more about their situation. This will properly educate you on how to handle each individual case. Remember that tone and language are important when you are addressing any type of mental health conversation.
These are just a few of the strategies you can implement to help you change the stigma surrounding mental health. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, now is a great time to start using these tips. Understanding the dangers and seriousness of mental health concerns is the first time to helping those who need it. If you are suffering from mental health issues, contact our counselor in Orlando today to get the support you need.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.