Amanda Mitchell, LCPC, BC-DMT
May is Mental Health Awareness month. There is much stigma around Mental Illness and seeking support for mental health. It is relatively common for me to hear clients say things such as “I should be able to do this” or “I just need to get over it.”
We judge ourselves or others for the mental or emotional pain that feels invisible or hard to understand. It is often part of the journey of letting go of self-judgment. It is also challenging to know who to talk to or who to trust. The stigma of mental health supports secrecy, shame, and fear of talking about it, whether you are sharing or listening. You may not know what to say if a loved one approaches you about feelings of depression, anxiety, or another mental health concern.
Here are three things you can say to someone with Mental Illness or a mental health concern:
Witnessing or supporting a loved one going through Mental Illness is its own emotional, mental, or spiritual journey. You care deeply and may feel pain when you see them in pain. It can be hard to find the words to say or space for yourself to feel your emotions. Consider seeking some support for yourself too.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a great resource. This year they shared, “For 2021’s Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI will continue to amplify the message of “You Are Not Alone.” We will use this time to focus on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health, and acknowledging that it’s okay to not be okay through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements, and national events.”
Check out personal stories about mental health and know that you are not alone.
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