Mental health support can start with one conversation

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Mental health support can start with one conversation

Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides, Copy Editor

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It can be hard to deal with mental illness when you have no support at home or have friends who understand what you’re going through, but there are ways to approach the people you love. It all starts with one conversation.

The first thing I personally recommend that you do is reach out to at least one person who you feel might come to understand you if they tried. Some people are either stubborn, they were born at a different time where it wasn’t the norm to talk about mental illness, or they are just clueless.

Sometimes it does take more than one conversation with these types of people, and I can relate to the frustration that you may feel due to this.

Make sure you have an idea of how you want to approach this sensitive area in your life. You could start off by explaining your feelings, and how you know that these feelings aren’t healthy, and that you need support going through it.

An assumption people make about mental illness is that we can just choose to be happy whenever we want. If the person you’re trying to get through to follows this stereotype, then you can guide them away from that way of thinking.

I haven’t fully been able to change the way of thinking for people who don’t want to, however I realized that when I started my first conversation with a sibling about my mental health issues, he only asked questions. I think that’s where you reel people in and begin to change their ways of thinking, answer their questions. They probably know nothing about mental illness.

Another thing I absolutely recommend is viewing movies, TV shows, or even books discussing mental health issues. For some people, it takes actually seeing the effects of mental illness to believe it is a real issue.

The Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” does a good job at showing suicide awareness, however I do not recommend watching it with family and friends if you find sexual assault, or suicide triggering. I do think that the movie has a personal perspective to it, and we can all feel emotion for the main character.

There is a suicide scene, one of the strongest scenes in the series. In my opinion, it captures how it feels when you feel alone and don’t know what else to do. I think anyone who doesn’t understand mental illness or suicide, may begin to, just by seeing something that truthful.

Also, there’s a Netflix original movie called, “To the Bone” and it touches on eating disorders, and how someone would feel if they were dealing with one. Both these recommendations are personal perspective creations that were made to spread awareness.

Another action I suggest you do is reach out to a school mental health counselor or crisis hotline. Either one would be able to give you some advice on what to do, in addition; they listen to you and give great advice back. They’re trained to do so.

One last recommendation would be to write about how you feel. Write everything you want a person to understand, and then give it to them when you’re ready. It’s never easy to talk about your personal struggles, however sometimes it’s easier to send a message without verbally saying it yet.

Having that first conversation about your mental health can be scary, but keep in mind that everyone has a struggle. There is someone out there who understands you. If you feel like your mental health isn’t doing well because of the people who lack empathy or understanding of your issues, try to cut them out.

This is advice from my own experiences, above all things, I always recommend you speak to a mental health professional.

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