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Resources and Tips for Those Struggling with Mental Health

 

Simply using your resources is fighting the stigma

  1. You are acknowledging that it exists in the world (Yes, there are people out there who believe there is no such thing as mental health/illness)
  2. What are some trusted resources?
  • School counselors- School counselors are there for you; it is their job to help you not only academically but personally as well. If you are not comfortable going directly to the school counselor, go to a teacher you trust that can help you. Reaching out to a trusted adult is the first step.

I would go to my school counselor 3 times a week. Just talking and opening up helped me because I knew I was doing something to fight back not only how the bullies made me feel but mental health in general. Going to my school counselor allowed me to seek further help. My counselor sent me to the hospital for evaluation, and it helped me find a psychiatrist and therapist. Because I went to the counselor, it gave me the resources of finding professional help outside of school.

  • Psychiatrist- school counselors, school psychologists, parents, legal guardians, and therapists can help you find one
  • Licensed mental health therapists- school counselors, school psychologists, parents, and legal guardians can help

It is also important to connect with your psychiatrist/therapist. Do not feel bad if you start to go to them and you do not like it. They can help you effectively when you connect with them. It is about finding the right fight (kind of like finding a college or job that is right for you).


Use social media to our advantage

  1. Follow mental health accounts and like/retweet important messages to spread the word on mental health
  2. You can even create your own mental health encouragement account

I have found it very helpful by reading others’ feelings, experiences, and knowledge about mental health through Twitter, Facebook, etc.

3. Online Support Groups- this has been extremely helpful for me

  • I can talk and communicate with others who have either the same diagnosis or going through the same thing
  • I am part of a Facebook group that is specifically for people with my disorder

IMPORTANT: Remember that online support groups do not replace therapy or professional treatment; they are a useful resource to use in addition to professional treatment.

 

Other Ways to fight the stigma

  1. Educate yourself and others on mental health
  • I am a psychology major and I was drawn to psychology because it educated me on mental health. I love abnormal psychology because I learn about disorders and their treatment
  • National Institute of Mental Health and National Alliance on Mental Illness are great resources for education
  • TED talks and Podcasts are very helpful for both education and inspirational messages.

2. Remind yourself and others that physical and mental health are equal

  • Neither is anyone’s fault; it is not your fault if you have anxiety, PTSD, cancer, or a broken bone. Physical AND mental conditions are no one’s fault.

3. Be compassionate and empathetic to people with mental illness. Simply being kind and          accepting others is fighting the stigma.

The world has made mental health seem like an illness that cannot be treated and puts people at a disadvantage. In reality, mental health disorders can be treated, and they can be used as an advantage. For example, I see my battle with mental health as an advantage because I can connect to people and feel more empathy than an average person. I use that to help others.

The first step to fighting mental health is finding and using your recourses. If you are struggling to find resources, speak with a trusted adult such as a teacher or parent to help you find trusted resources. It can be so difficult to find words or find the courage to speak up about how you are feeling; I have been there. I can tell you that there are resources that can help you.

You are NOT alone.

 

References

Greenstein, L. (2017). 9 ways to fight mental health stigma. National Alliance on Mental Illness.    Retrieved from: https://www.nami.org/blogs/nami-blog/october-2017/9-ways-to-fight-    mental-health-stigma.


National Alliance on Mental Illness (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.nami.org/home


National Institute of Mental Health (n.d.). Retrieved from:     https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml.


WRITTEN BY Laurel Zwick