I was doing some planning and programming this weekend and started looking as I usually o at things going around the world around us in our towns and communities in which we live in and came across something near and dear and also very close to me; Mental Health.
Prior to being hired on in Grand Erie District School Board, I worked many year for Haldimand Norfolk REACH as a Personal Support Worker and Respite Worker. The Agency supports and promotes Mental Health Awareness and those living with Mental Health. I got to see, meet, work and support many living with various forms of Mental Health.
Unfortunately; Mental Health can hit anyone, at anytime throughout our lives! This is not anything we can be prepared for nor prevent; it just happens and occurs BUT we can support and help those living with Mental Health!
I am not going to list the many ways one comes to Mental Health, but more so how we all can help and support those in need. The BIGGEST and MOST IMPORTANT thing is you are NOT going to fix, reduce and or eliminate it for anyone, especially IF that individual is not ready to overcome and move through and ahead of it! Depression is one of the largest forms of Mental Health, it can hit you in many means, forms and fashions.
I am not an expert by any means but I do know what helped me during my experience supporting others living with Mental Health, so here it is:
- Be there to LISTEN and really HEAR what’s behind the feelings one may be experiencing (sometimes reading behind the lines you can gather insight into the cause and means of this individual acquiring Mental Health).
- Provide you time for anything that may be needed; a walk, a talk, a coffee. This could be a trip to the movies, grocery shopping a doctors appointment (Its the TIME you spend that helps ).
- Its the QUALITY not QUANTITY you provide! Gifts do not and will not help! QUALITY TIME is HUGE and means more then you can imagine for those living with Mental Health.
- Its not about YOU and how YOU are helping, its all about THEM! (Do not get me wrong it always makes me feel good to help another BUT it IS about them!).
- Lastly PATIENCE is key! In time one may be able to move on through their struggle, sometimes it may never happen but your patience and time is very helpful and important!
Being there for someone is the BIGGEST thing you can do! Mental Health is not something you need to fear, more so be aware of! Know what it is / could be and possibly even review and reflect upon yourself a friend or family member. I know throughout my life I have gone through periods of depression myself, but being aware and seeking support and help is key!
Do not be shy, cautious around others and hid your struggle; use your voice and share your struggle with others as they may need to hear it too, just knowing you are not alone is something key to consider too!
This week on Wednesday, January 25th is Bell Lets Talk Day; Lead once again by Clara Hughes. I am excited to take my grade 3’s into this day looking at Mental Health Awareness; discussing it with our awesome media man at Grand Erie; Shawn McKillop. We will partake in Skypes, texts and tweets to help raise funds to support the cause / awareness as BELL will donate 5 cents per text, tweet using #BellLetsTalk hashtag etc… please see their website for more details!
If anyone else could and would consider being a guest speaker and Skype us learn more about Mental Health please feel free to email; firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet; @ArcherJoe I would love to connect and provide my students with more insight into Mental Health!
Be well and reflect everyone!