According to Medical News Today, mental health refers to cognitive, behavioural, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. Furthermore, it can affect daily living, relationships and physical health.
The WHO (World Health Organisation) has said that mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and can make a contribution to his or her community.
Simply starting a conversation about mental health is a powerful way to challenge the stigmas that surround mental health.
Time to Change, a social movement to change the way mental health is viewed, has outlined 5 ways to start a conversation about your mental health.
Conversations about mental health must happen at times and in places that feel natural. Often, having a conversation when you are jogging around the park, driving in the car, or eating breakfast in the café can make the conversation less uncomfortable and forced. You don’t need to be in a room with a counsellor to start a conversation about mental health.
Often, people say they are fine when in fact they are not. Therefore, asking twice is an important way of starting conversations about mental health and reassuring them that you are there to listen. Even if they don’t open up right away, they are aware they have someone to turn to when they are ready to speak about their mental health.
If someone is reluctant to open up to you about mental health, it can help them feel safe and understood if you share your feelings. This will make it clear that you are happy to talk about feelings and that there won’t be any judgement.
If you are aware one of your friends or family members has experienced a mental illness or they are acting differently, don’t be afraid to ask them how they are doing. This is an indication that you care for them. Furthermore, will be comforting as it shows they have someone to turn to who is always willing to listen.
Talking in person has many benefits such as seeing someone’s facial expressions, being able to read their body language or even hugging them if appropriate. However, some people may find it easier to talk about their mental health via text or email. Use your main form of communication to check up on your loved one. Social media can be a one brilliant way of keeping in touch with family and friends, providing that it also suits them.
Finding out more about mental health as well as checking your mood and wellbeing can make us more aware of what people with mental health problems may be experiencing. Therefore, making it easier to open up and talk about mental health problems as well as wellbeing.
You can find people’s experiences of how they shared their mental health experiences. Claire, who shares her story through the Time to Change portal, explained it as though “…a weight is lifted off your shoulders”.
At Cavendish Homecare, we understand the importance of Mental Health. This is why we constantly strive to deliver the best level of care to all our patients. Our wealth of experience gained from over 30 years of delivering care to patients suffering from Mental Health illnesses has enabled us to draw on extensive knowledge to support and treat your individual, unique needs.