10th October 2018
There is no Health Without Mental Health.
10th October is Mental Health awareness day which is a noble and global initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health that is aimed at promoting understanding of these illnesses. The importance of mental health awareness day on 10th October cannot be over emphasised.
As the largest provider of mental health legal services in Lancashire we assist clients in hospitals and hearings across the North West of England. It is fair to say for us and many of our clients Mental Health Awareness is at the fore-front of our minds every day, 365 days per year.
We are often approached by concerned relatives and friends who feel helpless in assisting a loved one with mental health problems.
It is good to talk.
In this blog we look at the eight tips for talking about mental health.
1. Set time aside with no distractions
It is important to provide an open and non-judgemental space with no distractions.
2. Let them share as much or as little as they want to
Let them lead the discussion at their own pace. Don’t put pressure on them to tell you anything they aren't ready to talk about. Talking can take a lot of trust and courage. You might be the first person they have been able to talk to about this.
3. Don't try to diagnose or second guess their feelings
You probably aren't a medical expert and, while you may be happy to talk and offer support, you aren't a trained counsellor. Try not to make assumptions about what is wrong or jump in too quickly with your own diagnosis or solutions.
4. Keep questions open ended
Say "Why don’t you tell me how you are feeling?" rather than "I can see you are feeling very low". Try to keep your language neutral. Give the person time to answer and try not to grill them with too many questions.
5. Talk about wellbeing
Exercise, having a healthy diet and taking a break can help protect mental health and sustain wellbeing. Talk about ways of de-stressing and ask if they find anything helpful.
6. Listen carefully to what they tell you
Repeat what they have said back to them to ensure you have understood it. You don't have to agree with what they are saying, but by showing you understand how they feel, you are letting them know you respect their feelings.
7. Offer them help in seeking professional support and provide information on ways to do this
You might want to offer to go the GP with them, or help them talk to a friend or family member. Try not to take control and allow them to make decisions.
8. Know your limits
Ask for help or signpost if the problem is serious. If you believe they are in immediate danger or they have injuries that need medical attention, you need to take action to make sure they are safe. More details on dealing in a crisis can be found below.
Creating awareness of mental health in society can assist individuals to recognize some mental illness warning signs. This can facilitate early or timely professional diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Reaching for help early enough has been the pitfall for most mental illness cases.
Such mental health awareness days serve to remind people of the reality of these illnesses and to emphasize that they require proper treatment.
It helps end social exclusion experienced by mental health patients. This is very significant as over 70% of mental health victims conceal their illness to themselves. This happens because they fear being judged by peers and the society as a whole.
It promotes better comprehension of issues that are related to mental illness in society.
It encourages the celebration of each and every individual's unique worth in society and also encourages supporting victims of mental illness.
It may assist in changing the mindset of insurance companies and policy makers to pay for the treatment required by mental illness patients.
At Roebucks, our mental health team support you or a loved one who are enduring Mental Health problems and are detained in a hospital by ensuring;
- Your legal rights are protected and your right of appeal/review is exercised.
- Your voice is heard and your views are expressed supported by one of our qualified advocates.
- You are compassionately helped through what can be a daunting and confusing process.
- You receive the appropriate treatment both within hospital and community.
- An application is made to the Legal Aid Agency which in the vast majority of cases mean there are no fees to pay.
Please contact the Mental Health Team on 01254 274000 for a confidential chat to see if we can assist and support you or a loved one as awareness and understanding of everyone’s mental health is important.