I was listening to a speaker a while back and they were discussing that certain diseases or health conditions earn certain food. If you think about it, you will notice the truth behind it. People with certain diseases, visitors come over and bring casseroles. If other people spend time in the hospital, an edible arrangement, of fruit, is sent to the house.
Recently, I went over to a friend’s house, who has a physical challenge, and there was a team of supporters, with 14 people in the room. It was good to see that there were so many people there to show support and love.
This morning it made me think, what is it like for someone with a mental health issue or substance abuse challenge? Where is the team that comes together for them? I know people who deal with depression or PTSD or substance addiction. You want to guess how many people show support? What food do you bring over?
I have talked with many people who have substance addictions. Many of them told me that they had a crisis or trauma in life. They never sought help for one reason or another. I have even heard of people being told that they are to never cry or talk about what happened. Talk about a reason why some of these people have challenges. Do we take the time to really talk to people?
For many of us, when someone is in the hospital for a surgery or treatment, we may go over to visit. How do we handle someone with a mental health issue? Do we just avoid the person? How would you feel if you were that person?
Many people put a stigma with people who have mental health issues. Did you know that 20% of Americans have mental health issues? That means that 1 in 5 of us has challenges. Think about people in your family. Who do you know that may be depressed? Do you realize that depression untreated may lead to someone taking their own life?
One thing that sticks me strange is that so many times people say that they never expected the person to take their own life. My question is simple, did you bother to engage the person when they were going through depression, or did you just walk away?
Have you taken a Mental Health First Aid Course, or a Suicide Awareness Course, or a Psychological First Aid Course? There are many places that we can learn to help someone, but are you willing to take the first step? Did you check out the SAMHSA website? Or any other mental health website?
Be brave enough to help others. By helping others on this issue, you may even find out that you may need some assistance, or you may finally take care of the issue that you have been denying for years.
The first part of healing is to admit that you have a challenge and work to get the assistance that you need. The best thing that you can do, to be a good friend, relative, church member or what have you, is to care about all people. The Good Book that I read tells me that we are to love our neighbor. That’s it PERIOD. There are no qualifications as to who that person is, or what condition that they have.
Remove the Stigma, Show the love.