We are reminded that October is Mental Health Awareness Month. We see Public Service Promotions reminding us that there is no shame in having a Mental Health Disorder. We are admonished that it’s high time we stifle stigmas associated with mental health. Celebrities put themselves on blast with personal disclosures that they have a mental illness.
And this for good reason! Whenever we see kids and adults behaving with aggression, when someone commits suicide, when we ignore signs of addictive, compulsive behavior, our automatic internal safety valve is to say, “Oh, it couldn’t possibly be THAT.”
Because if it’s “THAT”, then it spells weakness of character. It implies fault. It exposes vulnerability.
It heralds a headline: “Weakness Exposed“. Who wants to put themselves out there like that?
We are entreated to “Signs of Mental Illness”, or the “Ten Myths About Mental Illness”
I have to respect all efforts in getting the word out there.
Here is my contribution. And it’s more about taking up some kind of personal action.
The top 5 signs you are aware of Mental Health
- You are aware if depression, suicide, anxiety, addiction and other compulsive behaviors runs in your family and you talk about it at the dinner table.
- You demonstrate your knowledge of the signs of depression, anxiety, suicide, and addiction and ask questions not only of loved ones, but yourself.
- You show that you care by speaking openly with loved ones about your concerns.
- You listen to feedback from trusted others and you work around your fears and take action.
- You take steps to maintain your own mental wellness through check ups, diet, exercise, and taking action when something you are doing is causing problems in your work, family, and community.
Question: How will you know if what you are doing is getting results?
Answer: You and your family and friends will be as knowledgeable of the signs of Mental Unwellness as you are about the signs you are getting a cold or the flu.