06 May Asking for help takes STRENGTH
When you break your foot, you see a doctor or surgeon. If you feel sick, you let your coworkers know and you get medicine. It is common practice to share concerns about physical health with your friends and family. However, when dealing with a mental illness, many people never ask for help. Why are we so afraid to take care of the most vital organ – the brain?
Many psychologists have researched the benefits of teaching how to treat mental illness no differently than a physical illness – to speak openly about it, to ask for help, and to not see it as taboo.
The practice of taking stock of your mental health should be taught and reinforced on a daily basis in homes and schools. Behavioral problems are subtle signs of children & adults trying to ask for help. Ignoring these signs can lead to further problem in life: self-harm, low self-esteem, and a lack of identity. Not addressing mental health can contribute to depression, anxiety, and other issues. We must let children or adults cry, feel, and express their feelings as normal behavior.
Adults should be aware of the message they convey and model to children: it is important to be strong and showing emotions and having feelings does not make someone weak! Normalizing asking for help is a positive tool for your mental health. This will not only teach resilience but also compassion, courage, and that we are never alone and must never judge anyone for asking for help! Mental health starts at home and it starts with you.
Mental health in adults needs to be de-stigmatized. Feelings towards mental illness vary from culture to culture, but many communities have the attitude that mental illness is not real; that simply ignoring symptoms is the only “strong” solution. Seeking help is the bravest act you can do for yourself if you are struggling with a mental illness such as depression or addiction. You would not ignore a broken bone so do not ignore your brain.
Call and reach out, Forks Community Mental Health, WEOS provides services for the whole family, we provide mental health & substance use disorder services, now with Spanish services available.
We are here to help!
Mabel Thackeray, LMHC, DMHP
Supervising Mental Health Specialist
Disclaimer: This Column is not intended as a diagnosis or recommended treatment of a specific condition. Answers are not a replacement for an individual medical evaluation. Individual health concerns should be evaluated by a licensed clinician.